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Ax hangs over Turkey's EU bid as AKP pushes to revive death penalty

Turkey's president and now prime minister are speaking ever more boldly about reviving the death penalty despite the repercussions for the country's EU bid in what looks like a move to intimidate critics and also solidify the support of Turkish nationalists.
European Union (L) and Turkish flags fly outside a hotel in Istanbul, Turkey May 4, 2016. REUTERS/Murad Sezer/File Photo - RTX2EIB4

Turkey’s already bleak chances of becoming a full member of the European Union dimmed further today after the country’s prime minister, Binali Yildirim, announced plans to reintroduce the death penalty. Yildirim said a “limited measure” to bring back capital punishment could be drafted if a political deal with the opposition parties could be struck.

Turkey’s most notorious political detainee, Kurdistan Workers Party leader Abdullah Ocalan, will be relieved to learn that if adopted, the measure would not be applied retroactively. Ocalan was sentenced to death for treason in 1999.

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