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Turkey considers death penalty for coup bid

Jul 18, 2016, 3:12 AM EDT
Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan
(Source: AMISOM Public Information/flickr)

Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said the country would consider reinstating the death penalty, adding that those who are responsible for launching a coup must “pay the price for it.” Turkey’s potential reintroduction of capital punishment might complicate the already stalled membership talks between the European Union and Ankara. The country outlawed the death penalty in 2004 as part of its efforts to join the 28-member bloc.

More than 6,000 people have been arrested after a failed coup attempt on Sunday, which left about 290 dead and thousands of others injured, writes the BBC. Erdogan accused the U.S.-based Muslim cleric Fethullah Gulen of plotting the coup and trying to set up a parallel administration in the country.

Turkey, which has a turbulent past marked by three coups in addition to two military interventions, continues to face dramatic scenes on the streets of Istanbul and Ankara, with the government’s supporters thronging the squares, honking horns and waving flags.

The latest coup attempt has severely dented Turkey’s credibility over its internal security, notes Reuters. The N.A.T.O. country’s failure to stop repeated suicide bombings and to rein in Kurdish insurgency has “shattered fragile confidence” among Turkey’s allies.