Europe

Erdogan: Turkey can hold referendum on death penalty

Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan addresses a business meeting in Ankara, Turkey, Wednesday, Feb. 22, 2017. Turkey will hold a national referendum in April 16 on expanding the president's powers. Critics say it would concentrate even more power in the hands of a leader they accuse of authoritarian behavior. (AP Photo/Burhan Ozbilici)

Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan addresses a business meeting in Ankara, Turkey, Wednesday, Feb. 22, 2017. Turkey will hold a national referendum in April 16 on expanding the president's powers. Critics say it would concentrate even more power in the hands of a leader they accuse of authoritarian behavior. (AP Photo/Burhan Ozbilici)  (The Associated Press)

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan says Turkey could hold a referendum on reinstating the death penalty, if parliament fails to pass such a measure.

Erdogan made the comment on Friday while campaigning for a "yes" vote in a referendum on whether to expand his powers.

Since a failed coup in July, Erdogan has frequently told supporters who call for the death penalty at his rallies that he would sign off on any parliamentary vote to restore capital punishment.

On Friday, he went a step further, saying a referendum could be held if parliament fails to reinstate it.

Turkey abolished the death penalty more than a decade ago. European leaders say talks on Turkey's bid to join the EU would end if Ankara restores the death penalty.