The President of the European Commission has said that if Turkey reinstates the death penalty after the referendum on the 16th of April, it will not be joining the EU. The Turkish President said the reinstatement of the death penalty was a possibility on Saturday.
“If Turkey reinstates the death penalty, it would mean the end of negotiations”, Jean-Claude Juncker told the Sunday edition of the German newspaper Bild. He said there was a “red line” that couldn’t be crossed.
On Saturday, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said he expected Parliament to approve the reinstatement of the death penalty after the referendum on an extension of his powers. “I believe that if God wants it, Parliament will do what is needed after the 16th of April, in response to your demands on the death penalty”, Mr Erdogan said during an electoral meeting.
At the same time, Mr Juncker said he didn’t want to end negotiations on Turkey’s entrance right away, even though they had been at a standstill for years. “It’s a non-debate. It makes no sense to calm things down by stopping negotiations which aren’t happening anyway”, he said. If Turkey doesn’t join it won’t be because of Europeans, but because of “Turkey’s unwillingness to meet European standards”, he added.