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Turkey’s Erdogan Jeopardizes EU Admission by Reinstating Death Penalty

Despite knowing that its passage would effectively kill any chance Turkey has for being admitted to the European Union — a longtime goal — President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is pushing ahead with legislation that would reinstate the death penalty. Following a failed coup earlier this year, Erdogan ordered the arrest of more than 35,000 coup sympathizers while firing tens of thousands from their jobs. It is feared that given the death penalty as a weapon, Erdogan will turn it on his rivals ex post facto. He also is continuing his purge of media outlets, having shuttered more than 160 newspapers, news wires, and magazines since July. His other nemeses, academia, are suffering through the president’s arrests and decrees including Erdogan’s new ability to personally appoint rectors for universities. On Sunday, the Council of Europe, comprised of 47 nations including Turkey, warned that restoring the death penalty is “incompatible with membership in the Council of Europe.”