Erdogan hints Turkey could re-instate death penalty over wildfire starter

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan spoke after a devastating wildfire near Marmaris destroyed 4,500 hectares of forest land.

FILE: Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan. Picture: @RecepTayyipErdogan/Facebook.com.

Turkey's Justice Minister says the country will consider re-introducing the death penalty, which was abolished in 2004.

Bekir Bozdag made the statement in response to comments by President Tayyip Erdogan over the reported deliberate setting of a devastating wildfire in an Aegean coastal forest.

The blaze destroyed 4,500 hectares of vegetation near the resort town Marmaris in southwestern Turkey.

RELATED: Erdogan says he will run in 2023 presidential election

Erdogan said the punishment for burning forests should be "intimidating" to the point of death sentences, reports Reuters.

The Justice Minister told journalists the president's comments "are instructions to us."

A suspect detained in connection with the fire has admitted to burning down the forest.

More in Multimedia