Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Sunday said the country would bring back the death penalty if the public and Parliament approved it. Addressing a rally of millions against the attempted military coup in Turkey last month, Erdogan said: "It is the Turkish parliament that will decide on the death penalty... I declare it in advance, I will approve the decision made by the parliament...Sovereignty belongs to the people. So if the people make this decision, I am sure the political parties will comply."
At the event, Erdogan upped his attack on US-based cleric Fethullah Gulen, who is accused of orchestrating the attempted military takeover on July 15, and said the country will be freed of all his supporters. "Of course, we have to uncover all members of this organisation and eradicate them within the framework of the law. But if we content ourselves with just that, then we as a state and a nation will leave weak our defence against similar viruses," he said, according to BBC.
The "Democracy and Martyrs' Rally" was attended by more than five million people, according to the Turkish government. It was broadcast across the country at smaller rallies.
Prime Minister Binali Yildirim and the head of Turkey's armed forces, Hulusi Akar, both spoke up against Gulen, against whom an arrest warrant was issued. Both said the Islamic preacher will be punished for the coup attempt, in which nearly 300 people died.