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/

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.

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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.

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