Government parties eager to ban Turkish death penalty referendum

Flemish government parties are eager to ban Turkish nationals in Belgium from voting in any referendum on the reintroduction of the death penalty in their homeland.
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Following his win in the recent referendum on greater powers for the Turkish presidency, President Erdogan promised a referendum on the reintroduction of the death penalty. Many here believe the practice is barbaric.

Flemish Christian democrat leader Wouter Beke says: "the reintroduction of the death penalty conflicts with the values of our party, our country and Europe. Anybody wishing to reintroduce the death penalty shouldn't expect any help from us."

Flemish liberal Annemie Turtelboom hopes that the EU will see a referendum on the death penalty as a red line not to be crossed: "This is the moment for Belgium and Europe to say 'it stops here'." Ms Turtelboom believes accession talks should cease if Turkey organises such a referendum.

Flemish nationalist lawmaker Peter De Roover speaks of the difficulties in preventing Turkish nationals in Belgium from participating: "It's questionable whether Belgian law can ban votes in embassies and consulates because there the Turks are in charge".

Mr De Roover believes the issue is food for thought, but it’s thinking caps on fast because otherwise the vote will be over before Belgium has time to take any action.