BBC, Aug. 2, 2002
The Turkish parliament has voted to abolish the death penalty.
Turkish deputies have been debating a package of reforms aimed at easing the way for the European Union to set a date for the opening of accession negotiations.
Abolishing capital punishment would be an important step towards Turkey’s ambition of joining the EU, correspondents say.
It would also save condemned Kurdish rebel leader Abdullah Ocalan from execution.
“We are happy that the death penalty is being lifted in Turkey,” embattled Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit said after the vote. “It is important that the EU’s door open up for Turkey.”
The move still has to be confirmed by a wider vote on the entire reform package – a process expected to take place later on Friday or on Saturday.