Friday, 13 January 2017

Turkey lawmakers brawl in parliament

Lawmakers in Turkey brawled during a debate over constitutional amendments that would expand presidential powers, according to state news agency Anadolu. The fight broke out on Wednesday shortly after opposition lawmaker Özgür Özel told ruling party lawmakers "You are trying to destroy yourselves when the TV is off and nobody sees. We won't let it happen," according to Anadolu.
Lawmakers were debating ending "parliament's authorization to inspect ministers and the Cabinet." Shortly after Özel comments, fellow members of the main opposition Republican People's Party encircled the speaker's rostrum with arms joined, occupying the area in protest.

The fight broke out soon afterward, according to Anadolu.
One senior lawmaker with the ruling Justice and Development (AK) party suffered a broken nose, according to the report.

Tensions run high
Despite the brawl, the measure was passed Thursday in the 550-member assembly, Anadolu said.

Violent outbreaks are uncommon in Turkey's parliament but tensions are high over the 18-article constitutional reform package, which has been put forward by the governing AK party.

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