15:08 GMT07 March 2021
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    Turkey Votes for Presidential System of Government in National Referendum (72)

    The reinstatement of the death penalty in Turkey will mean the end of negotiations on the country's accession to the European Union, Belgium's Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Didier Reynders said Monday.

    BRUSSELS (Sputnik) — The statement comes in the wake of a constitutional vote in Turkey on Sunday, in which 51.3 percent of voters supported the amendments, which, once passed, will expand presidential powers over the judicial and legislative branches of the government. In February, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that the country could seek to reinstate the death penalty as there was public demand for it.

    "I expect the president to remain faithful to the principles and rules laid down by the Council of Europe, which Turkey is a member of. And I am worried when I hear that after the failed coup attempt last summer there are talks about the return of the death penalty … The reinstatement of the death penalty will mark the end of any European perspective for Turkey," Reynders said, as quoted by Le Soir newspaper.

    Last year, the European Union condemned Ankara’s clampdown on those suspected of having ties to the organizers of the July 2016 failed coup in Turkey. The bloc decided to freeze EU accession talks with Ankara as a result.

    Turkey signed an association agreement with the then-European Community in 1963, and submitted a membership application in 1987. Talks about Ankara's membership to the European Union began in 2005, however the negotiations have been repeatedly suspended over the years due to various obstacles.

    Turkey Votes for Presidential System of Government in National Referendum (72)


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    death penalty, European Union, Didier Reynders, Belgium, Turkey
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