After the April 16 referendum ended with a victory for the "yes" campaign, discussions on the enactment of the death penalty with a referendum have been put on the agenda. Professor Mustafa Şentop, ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party) deputy and the chairman of the Constitution Committee in Parliament, spoke to A Haber yesterday indicating that in case the death penalty is re-enforced in Turkey, it will not be used for the crimes that have already been judged by a court, in accordance with the principle of the non-retroactivity of laws.
President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and opposition Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) Chairman Devlet Bahçeli gave the signal that they would likely take a step to bring back the death penalty. Şentop said, "If someone commits a criminal offense [that necessitates enforcement of the death penalty] after the relevant law is passed, the death penalty would be applied." Stating that the death penalty will likely include the coup plotters, Şentop indicated that in the case of a further coup attempt, the death penalty can be applied after the law was introduced.
Furthermore, "offenses to overthrow the constitutional order, intentional homicide, and rape" could be the main crimes requiring an enforcement of the death penalty, Şentop explained. Additionally, Şentop underlined that deciding on whether the death penalty should be applied or not is a political activity. "The content [of the relevant law] will likely become clear after the interview is done with the MHP," he added. Explaining his personal views, Şentop indicated that "the death penalty should be reapplied in Turkey." While saying there is a huge demand for the death penalty from the Turkish people, Şentop added, "The Parliament that annulled the death penalty has the power to put it back into the Turkish Constitution." Noting that the European Convention on Human Rights is not an obstacle to bringing the death penalty back, Şentop pointed out that Russia did not approve the relevant part of the convention as well as Armenia and Azerbaijan, who executed the death penalty even though they had signed it.