Turkey Coup: President Erdogan Refuses To Rule Out Possible Execution Of Thousands Involved [Video]

Thousands of people were arrested in Turkey following the failed military coup that took place on Friday, July 15. Now, Turkey’s President Erdogan is refusing to rule out the death penalty as punishment for their actions. In the first interview given by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan following the failed Turkey coup, he called the actions of those arrested “clear treason.”

“There is a clear crime of treason and your request can never be rejected by our government. But of course it will take a parliamentary decision for that to take action in the form of a constitutional measure so leaders will have to get together and discuss it and if they accept to discuss it then I as president will approve any decision that comes out of the parliament.”

If the death penalty is utilized in Turkey following the failed Turkey coup attempt, it will be a reintroduction of a punishment long-abandoned by the nation. Turkey hasn’t employed it for a decade. Use of the death penalty will also mean that Turkey won’t be becoming part of the European Union, reports CNN.

On Monday, the chief of EU foreign policy, Federica Mogherini, confirmed that if Turkey carries out death sentences in response to the Turkey coup attempt would have a disastrous impact on Turkey’s potential European Union future.

According to the President of Turkey, many Turkish citizens have publicly called for the death penalty for those involved in the failed coup. A lot of Turks have lost family members, neighbors, children, and friends as a result of the failed Turkey coup. They don’t want the government footing the bill for imprisoning thousands for years and even decades.

“Why should I keep them and feed them in prisons, for years to come?’ — that’s what the people say.”

Thousands of people are currently imprisoned for their alleged roles in the failed Turkey military coup, including thousands upon thousands of members of the country’s Ministry of Interior. So far, nearly 9,000 officers have been removed from their posts in the department. Included in the ranks of those arrested as a result of the Turkey coup are 103 high-ranking admirals and generals.

Following Friday’s attempted military coup in Turkey, President Erdogan swiftly promised supporters and dissenters of his rule alike that everyone involved in the coup attempt would “pay a heavy price for this act of treason.”

In response to the failed military coup in Turkey, the Turkish government has called for the extradition of a so-called “extreme Turkish cleric” living in the United States. The cleric, Fethullah Gulen, has been living in self-imposed exile in Saylorsburg, Pennsylvania, since 1999, and he is a former ally of President Ergodan, who has become a bitter critic of the President of Turkey in recent years.

As NBC News reports the Turkish President has accused “conspirators loyal to Fethullah Gulen” of being behind the failed coup.

For his part, Fethullah Gulen has publicly claimed that the failed Turkey coup was likely orchestrated by President Erdogan himself so that he could purge his military of secularists among its ranks who oppose him.

According to the Turkish President, a formal written request to have the self-exiled Turkish cleric extradited from the U.S. to Turkey for prosecution (and possible execution) has already been drafted. The President of Turkey expects to officially submit the request through the appropriate channels in the U.S. within days.

President Erdogan also fully expects that the United States will honor his extradition request.

“So now you ask someone to be extradited, you’re my strategic partner I do obey, I do abide by that, but you don’t do the same thing — well, of course, there should be reciprocity in the types of things.”

What do you think? Is President Erdogan correct in considering the death penalty for those involved in the failed coup? Should the U.S. extradite Fethullah Gulen as requested? Could the failed Turkey coup be a sign of things to come?

[Image by Chris McGrath/Getty Images]