TURKEY: EU AFFAIRS MINISTER REFUSES RETURN OF DEATH PENALTY
|Turkish Minister for EU Affairs Volkan Bozkir
February 16, 2015: Personal feelings and the reactions of a stateÂ should be separate,Â Turkey's EU affairs minister said regarding theÂ murder ofÂ a 20-year-old female university studentÂ in the southern province of Mersin.Â
Discussions of a death sentence came into the spotlight, after the murder ofÂ OzgecanÂ Aslan, whoÂ was killed and burned after reportedlyÂ resistingÂ sexual assault in Mersin'sÂ Tarsus district on February 13.
"When considering the death penalty, I think it would beÂ necessary to assess the issue in a much more healthy environment rather the mentalityÂ we are in currently," said Volkan Bozkir in Ankara.Â
However, Bozkir added "If something like thisÂ happenedÂ to my daughter, I would take a weapon and give the punishmentÂ myself and thenÂ bear the penaltyÂ but, statesÂ should not react this way."
He said killing people isÂ not right forÂ states. The job of states is to arrest the guilty andÂ give them the most severe punishment they deserve. States mustÂ act within the framework of justice towards everyone.
"I think the implementation of aggravated life imprisonmentÂ would be more appropriate instead of the death penalty for such crimes," added Bozkir.
Aslan went missing on Wednesday (February 11); her charred body was found in a riverbed on February 13. Three suspects were arrested on February 15 in connection with the murder which has shocked the country.
Turkish Economy Minister Nihat Zeybekci called for reinstatement of death penalty in the wake of cruel murder of Ozgecan Aslan, Turkeyâs BGN newspaper said February 15.
âWe need to delicately discuss bringing back the death penalty for murders that slay human decency itself like that of Ozgecan Aslan,â the newspaper cited Zeybekci as saying during a press conference.
The minister stressed it was his personal opinion and urged Turkish parliament to discuss the issue.
âI personally believe that Turkey should be able to administer the necessary penalty for crimes such as this that are a crime against humanity and an affront to the nation and to humanity itself,â Zeybekci added. (Sources: aa.com.tr, 16/02/2015; Sputnik, 15/02/2015)