The death toll rose to at least 265 around noon on July 16, when prime minister Benali Yildirim announced that 161 “martyrs” had been killed, in addition to at least 104 coup participants. Calling the night “a black stain on Turkish democracy,” Yildirim confirmed that 1,440 people were wounded, and about 2,800 arrested in connection with the coup, which he said was backed by a “parallel terrorist organization.”

Alleged leaders of the coup were forced to strip naked after surrendering.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has been vocal about his support for considering the re-introduction of capital punishment. “In the face of deaths, murders, if necessary the death penalty should be brought back to the table [for discussion],” he said in a 2012 speech after an upsurge in Kurdish militant violence, Reuters reported.

How Turkey chooses to deal with its coup plotters could be a turning point for the country, which has also seen an upsurge in terror attacks over the last few years. In 2004, Turkey abolished the death penalty for all penal offenses and in 2006 ratified the part of the European Convention of Human Rights that bans the death penalty.

With its membership to the EU still pending, the country’s choice to abide by or discard union’s philosophy on human rights will be closely watched. EU bylaws state: “The European Union holds a strong and principled position against the death penalty; its abolition is a key objective for the Union’s human rights policy. Abolition is, of course, also a pre-condition for entry into the Union.”

📬 Sign up for the Daily Brief

Our free, fast, and fun briefing on the global economy, delivered every weekday morning.