Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim on Tuesday warned against revenge and mob violence in the aftermath of a failed coup targeting his government.
“Nobody can have a feeling of revenge. This is unacceptable in a state governed by rule of law,” Yildirim said, referring to images purportedly showing government supporters physically attacking alleged coup backers.
He vowed however that whoever had acted against the law would be punished. “Today we need unity,” he said, speaking after a meeting with Kemal Kilicdaroglu, leader of the opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP).
Turkey has jailed over two dozen generals, including a former air force chief, as well as two pilots believed to have been shot down by a Russian jet in November, on suspicion of planning Friday’s attempt to overthrow President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
Late on Monday, Erdogan told in an interview to a news channel that he would approve any decision by the country’s parliament to reinstate the death penalty as calls grow for executions in the plot’s aftermath.
“Parliament needs to discuss it and if the leaders agree and discuss it then I as president will approve any decision to come out of the parliament,” he said.
‘Why should I keep them and feed them in prisons, for years to come?’ That’s what the people say.”
Devlet Bahceli, leader of the far-right Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) also expressed his support for the reinstatement of the death penalty, already a longstanding demand of his party.
“Gulenist coup supporters taking orders from the imam in Pennsylvania are no different than Daesh, PKK terror organizations” he said, referring to the Islamic State (IS) group and Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), two group who have carried out attacks inside Turkey.
“Our party has never supported coup and has always sided with democracy.”
Details have emerged in the plot’s aftermath that 40 soldiers backed by three helicopters had intended to kill or capture the president, who was on vacation in the southwest resort town of Marmaris.
“Had I stayed 10, 15 additional minutes, I would have been killed or I would have been taken,” Erdogan said to a television news channel.
A lengthy list, exclusively revealed by Middle East Eye, showing which military officers and officials were set to take over critical posts once the coup was over, suggest that the plot was planned well in advance.
Government officials have said they will make an important announcement on Wednesday, but have not elaborated further. Presidential spokesman Ibrahim Kalin is also scheduled to hold a press conference at 2pm in Istanbul on Tuesday.
More than 200 people were killed and over 1400 wounded on Friday and Saturday in the violence that followed an attempt by a faction of the Turkish army to seize control of the country, most of them civilians.