ANKARA (Sputnik) — The death penalty cannot be used in relation to last summer's coup attempt in Turkey because the new law is not retroactive, Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim said Tuesday.
"This issue appeared on the agenda after the July 15 coup attempt. The people do not want the criminals to go unpunished, and we will not close our eyes to it. However, it should be known that the law is not retroactive," Yildirim said at a ruling Justice and Development (AK) Party parliamentary group meeting in Ankara.
The death penalty was banned in Turkey in 2004 as part of Turkey's attempt to be closer to the European Union. However, after a July attempted coup in Turkey, voices requesting the reinstatement of the death penalty have been on the rise.
The proposal to reinstate the death penalty is expected to be discussed in the Turkish parliament in the near future.
In July, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced that the country would return the death penalty if the people demanded it after a coup attempt to overthrow him on July 15 failed. According to the Turkish leader, a 57-percent majority of the country's citizens back the idea of reinstating the capital punishment.
The European Union has warned Turkey that any reintroduction of the death penalty would be viewed by Brussels as a "deal-breaker" that would end the country’s efforts to join the bloc.