No EU membership if Turkey reinstates death penalty: EU members

Berlin/Vienna: The introduction of the death penalty in Turkey would consequently end the European Union (EU) accession negotiations, said German government spokesman Steffen Seibert on Monday in Berlin, a view which was later shared by Austrian Chancellor Christian Kern. "Germany and the EU have a clear stance: We fundamentally reject the death penalty," Xinhua news agency quoted him as saying. He added that a country which had the death penalty could not be a member of the bloc. Meanwhile, he called Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's considerations of a return to the death penalty as "concerning". Austrian Chancellor also warned Turkey saying that a reinstatement would mean "a departure from the basic democratic consensus", and as a result, "Turkey could not be a partner" in the union. According to an Austria Press Agency report, he said that for now, one must wait and observe further developments in Turkey, and he hopes for the stabilisation of presently turbulent situation. "Turkey can also not afford to close its doors. We need Turkey as a stable partner," he said. After the failed coup attempt on Friday, Erdogan said on Sunday that Turkey would now consider reinstating the death penalty. Turkey abolished the practice in 2002 as part of its pursuit of EU membership, Xinhua news agency added. Parts of the Turkish military had launched a coup on Friday night which was struck down a few hours later. Thousands of people were arrested, among them top army commanders, judges, and prosecutors. The Turkish government has already announced severe penalties for the insurgents.