German Chancellor Angela Merkel said Turks living in her country will not be allowed to vote in any referendum on reinstating the death penalty in Turkey.
Last month, Germany allowed Turks to vote in a referendum that endorsed broad new powers for Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. But many campaign rallies were banned by local authorities.
As reported by the Reuters news agency, Merkel, who is seeking a fourth term in a September election, has said Europe should not push Turkey away despite concerns about Erdogan’s tightening grip on power and mass arrests since a coup attempt last July.
But she confirmed what her spokesman said last week, that Germany would not authorise Turkish consulates and embassies to act as polling stations on reinstating the death penalty (banned in all European Union countries) in Turkey.
“We usually don’t answer hypothetical questions but this question is unfortunately, unfortunately not so hypothetical as it is being discussed in Turkey,” Merkel told broadcaster WDR.
“I thought it was important to say that we cannot give permission on German soil to a subject matter such as the death penalty that we absolutely reject.”
Even though Turkey abolished the death penalty in 2004 (as part of a campaign for EU membership), Erdogan has said he will approve its reinstatement if the measure is backed in a referendum.