Turkey coup: Erdogan government could restore death penalty, deputy leader warns

Hashtag  #Idamistiyorum ('I want death penalty') becomes the top trend the top trend on Turkish twitter.

Adam Lusher
Saturday 16 July 2016 10:05 BST
Protesters in stand-off with tanks in Turkey

The Turkish government is considering bringing back the death penalty so it can execute those involved in the attempted military coup against President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Mehmet Müezzinoğlu, the ruling Justice and Development Party's Deputy Leader, said the government will introduce a bill calling for the execution of rebel soldiers.

“We will put forward a motion, which will demand the execution of those who have been involved in the coup attempt," Mr Müezzinoğlu wrote on Twitter.

Following his comments, #Idamistiyorum ("I want death penalty") has become the top trend on Twitter in Turkey. The hashtag has been used more than 23,000 times.

The call for the death penalty came as the government appeared to be regaining control after a coup which left more than 260 dead and 1,000 wounded.

Violence between protesters and police in Turkey

At one point it looked as if the coup would succeed, with Turkey’s military chief of staff General Hulusi Akar having been taken hostage and a TV news anchor forced to keep repeating: “The political administration that has lost all legitimacy and has been forced to withdraw.”

President Erdogan appeared to have been caught off guard while on holiday. He had to resort to giving interviews via mobile phone and FaceTime to insist he was still in control.

But citizens took to the streets in support of the president, lying down in front of tanks or climbing on top of them in Istanbul.

Mr Erdogan succeeded in returning to Istanbul, and General Akar was reportedly rescued after an operation at an air base on the outskirts of the capital Ankara.

As pictures emerged of soldiers involved in the coup surrendering, while being punched by civilian supporters of President Erdogan, a senior Turkish official said 1,563 military personnel were now in custody across the country – awaiting an increasingly uncertain fate.

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