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Erdogan says Turks want coup ‘terrorists’ killed

Official papers would be filed within days to request the extradition of cleric Fethullah Gulen from the United States

Published: Updated:

President Tayyip Erdogan told CNN in an interview on Monday that the Turkish people wanted the death penalty - abolished more than a decade ago - for those involved in last weekend’s failed military coup.

“The people on the streets have made that request,” Erdogan said in an excerpt broadcast by CNN. “The people have the opinion that these terrorists should be killed ... Why should I keep them and feed them in prisons for years to come, that’s what the people say.”

CNN also quoted Erdogan as saying official papers would be filed within days to request the extradition of cleric Fethullah Gulen from the United States. Turkey says Gulen masterminded the coup attempt. He denies involvement.

Erdogan spoke early Tuesday to hundreds of supporters outside his Istanbul residence who were chanting for Turkey to restore capital punishment following the failed coup. Erdogan said Turkey is “a democratic state run by rule of law” and “you cannot put aside the people’s demands.” European Union officials say talks on Turkey’s bid to join the EU would end if Ankara restores the death penalty.

“Today is there no capital punishment in America? In Russia? In China? In countries around the world? Only in European Union countries is there no capital punishment,” Erdogan said.

He also said he planned to meet with his National Security Council on Wednesday.

(With The Associated Press)