At least five lawmakers have been wounded in a brawl between Turkey’s opposing political parties in the Parliament before the assembly moved to discuss controversial security bill.
Hours before the midnight, Turkish opposition parties proposed various motions to filibuster the assembly and the ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party) failed to bring up the controversial security bill that would largely restrict right to protest and assembly. The hours before the brawl, the tensions in the assembly were running high, with war of words over petty things such as the time of dinner. Parliament’s acting speaker Ayşe Bahçekapılı admitted that she was only joking about canceling the dinner timeout. reported by Zaman
As the Parliament shut it doors to press and removed audio and visual recorders from the general assembly, the tension sharply escalated.
Main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) lawmaker Mahmut Tanal told STV channel early on Wednesday that the brawl was kicked off after AK Party deputies walked toward a female deputy from the pro-Kurdish Peace and Democracy Party (BDP). He added that the scenes of fist-fighting in the Parliament was unprecedented. Tanal was among the deputies hit during the brawl. Another CHP deputy Aykut Erdoğdu was hit in the chest with the speaker’s gavel while CHP’s Musa Çam was hospitalized as he fainted. Another CHP deputy Refik Eryılmaz was treated in the ambulance. Photos of pro-Kurdish lawmaker Ertuğrul Kürkçü with a white bondage on his head surfaced on the social media.
Despite the brawl that left at least five lawmakers wounded, the Parliament continued its session behind closed doors.