Turkey’s Economy Minister has reportedly said the country's government will punish plotters of the recent failed military coup to the point where they will beg for death.
Nihat Zeybekci was quoted by the Dogan news agency as saying:
"We will make them beg. We will stuff them into holes, they will suffer such punishment in those holes that they will never see God's sun as long as they breathe. They will not hear a human voice again. 'Kill us' they will beg."
Speaking at anti-coup demonstrations staged in western provinces of Denizli and Usak, he is reported to have said in response to the protesters' slogan "We want capital punishment":
"These traitors will be punished with whatever this nation wants. … This [capital punishment] is what I also want at heart. But never forget that even if we execute them all, I would not feel avenged, and it would not bring our 250 fallen people back."
Over 230 people, many of whom were civilians, were killed when a group of rebel soldiers attempted a military coup on July 15, with more than 2,000 injured.
The Turkish government succeeded in suppressing the coup and has since launched widespread purges of state institutions.
Tens of thousands of people, including journalists, public servants, judges, prosecutors and teachers, and over a thousand army rebels, have been targeted.
A state of emergency was declared on July 20, allowing President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his cabinet to make laws by decree, while the country's compliance to the European Convention on Human Rights was suspended.
Cover photo courtesy of KLMircea.