The European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker clarified that if Turkey would be interested in continuing accession talks with the EU, there should be no possibility of reintroducing death penalty.
While Turkey abolished the death penalty in 2004 as part of a campaign for EU membership, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has recently made clear that death penalty reinstatement could take place after the Turkish parliament approves the proposal, or if the proposal is put and backed by referendum vote.
“I am not of the opinion that the accession negotiations with Turkey should be stopped now,” said Juncker on Wednesday from Berlin, on a future of Europe debate with European students.
Turkey is to receive more pressure on behalf of the EU to be convinced that it is its own interest to adopt reforms and move towards Europe. instead of turning away from the continent and its values, said the European Commission president.
“If Turkey will ever become a member state, I do not know,” Juncker said, but his meeting with Erdogan, with whom he spent half an hour on bilateral talks, was enough to make clear to the Turkish president that a reintroduction of the death penalty would stop accession talks. “I told him: If you reintroduce the death penalty, then it’s time to end,” Juncker concluded.