Lawmakers from the main opposition CHP and ruling AKP scuffle during a debate on a legislation to boost police powers, at the Turkish Parliament in Ankara late February 19, 2015. AFP Photo
urkey’s Parliament descended into fresh chaos on Feb. 19 with lawmakers exchanging punches for a second time over a controversial bill to boost police powers against protesters.
Ruling party and opposition lawmakers traded blows and one opposition deputy even fell down the stairs, just before parliament was about to begin a debate on the ruling Justice and Development Party’s (AKP) new security package.
Opposition parties voiced their objections to the bill for more than three hours, arguing that the bill contradicted both parliament’s internal regulations and the constitution. Eventually, heated verbal exchanges between the warring sides escalated into punches and kicks…
…As fists and kicks began flying in the General Assembly hall, CHP deputy Orhan Düzgün engaged AKP deputy Suat Önal in battle. After being pushed by Önal, Düzgün fell down the stairs that are used to pass stenographs down to the lower floor.
As Düzgün fell down to the lower floor, other CHP deputies panicked overhead, diverting their attention from the brawl in order to rescue Düzgün.
Overall, the fisticuffs went on for around 10 minutes, and resulted in minor injuries. While trying to protect Düzgün, the eyebrow of CHP deputy Hasan Ören was cut.
Düzgün himself refused to leave the General Assembly hall to see a doctor, vowing to “stay and continue the struggle.” Medical trained deputies attended to Düzgün in parliament.
CHP deputy Aykut Erdoğdu, who was among those deputies who ran to help Düzgün, claimed that AKP deputies had also tried to push him and other CHP lawmakers down the same stairs…
Opposition parties, strongly opposed to the government-driven security bill, earlier this week vowed to stop the draft text from coming to the parliament floor by resorting to delaying tactics such as presenting motions on unrelated subjects.
Turkey’s opposition fears that the bill will effectively create a police state under President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.
A brawl broke out earlier over the same bill on Feb 18, 2015: it was caught on video:
Related from today: Former Turkish president Gül advises gov’t to revise security bill