ROME (Sputnik) – On Sunday, Turkey held a referendum on the transition from a parliamentary to presidential system of governance. Preliminary results of the vote indicate a victory for supporters of the governance shift. Once the results are confirmed, the nation’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, with his newly bestowed powers, will be able to reinstate the death penalty, which was outlawed in 2004 amid Turkey's attempts to have closer ties with the European Union. In late February, Erdogan said Ankara may seek to reintroduce capital punishment in the light of last year's failed coup attempt.
"The issue of Turkey’s accession to the European Union is ‘not on table.’ In any case the possible solutions, related to the death penalty reintroduction may delay it even further," Alfano told Il Corriere della Sera newspaper.
On Monday, a number of senior EU officials, including German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel, Austrian President Alexander Van der Bellen, Belgium's Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Didier Reynders, expressed the opinion that the reinstatement of the death penalty would diminish Turkey’s prospects of joining the bloc.
In March 2016, Brussels and Ankara agreed on a deal, under which Turkey pledged to take back all undocumented migrants that had arrived to the European Union through the state’s territory. In return, the bloc pledged to accelerate the Turkish EU accession bid and introduce a visa-free regime, as well as provide financial aid to Turkey to cover the costs of migrant reception.