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    Turkish parliament debate on lawmakers' immunity ends in a brawl (02 05 2016)

    Punch-Up Debates: Turkish Parliamentarians End Up in a Massive Brawl

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    A debate in the Turkish parliament over lifting lawmakers' immunity from prosecution ended in a massive punch-up, on Monday; the previous meeting on the issue on Thursday was also postponed because of a scuffle.

    The video circulating in the Internet caught the parliamentarians of Turkey's ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) and oppositional Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) violently trading kicks and punches.

    Turkish parliament debate on lawmakers' immunity ends in a brawl (02 05 2016)
    Turkish parliament debate on lawmakers' immunity ends in a brawl (02 05 2016)

    The scuffle is believed to have been sparked by Justice Minister Bekir Bozdag after he criticized last week’s fistfight and brawl, saying that the advisers had been involved in violence, according to Turkish Hurriyet Daily News.

    HDP İstanbul deputy Garo Paylan was quick to respond by calling the minister’s remarks slander.

    Turkish parliament debate on lawmakers' immunity ends in a brawl (02 05 2016)
    Turkish parliament debate on lawmakers' immunity ends in a brawl (02 05 2016)

    The skirmish quickly grew violent with a few suited parliamentarians launching themselves into the melee from a table.

    A previous meeting on the bill was postponed on Thursday when a similar scuffle broke out.

    According to Hurriyet Daily News, that brawl erupted after HDP MPs requested to move to a larger room during the second part of the meeting because a number of HDP and AKP deputies could not find a seat.

    Turkish parliament debate on lawmakers' immunity ends in a brawl (02 05 2016)
    © Photo : YouTube/RT
    Turkish parliament debate on lawmakers' immunity ends in a brawl (02 05 2016)

    Tension rose further when several AKP MPs asked TV camera operators to leave the room, against the wishes of HDP deputies who wanted them to follow the meeting until it ended.

    The debates are centered around proposed amendments to the country’s constitution, aimed at stripping Turkish lawmakers of legal immunity. Turkish lawmakers are immune from prosecution while in office.

    Ruling AK Party and pro-Kurdish Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) lawmakers scuffle during a debate at the Parliament in Ankara, Turkey late April 27, 2016
    © REUTERS / Stringer
    Ruling AK Party and pro-Kurdish Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) lawmakers scuffle during a debate at the Parliament in Ankara, Turkey late April 27, 2016

    The police can file 'dossiers' against politicians, which can lead to a legal process once the lawmaker ceases to be a member of parliament.
    President Tayyip Erdogan, who founded the AKP, has called for members of HDP to face prosecution, accusing them of being an extension of the outlawed militant group, the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK).

    The Kurdish-rooted Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) says the bill is targeting them and is aimed at suppressing dissent.

    Related:

    Turkish MPs Recount Mass Brawls in Parliament Started by Erdogan’s Party
    Turkish Parliament Speaker Urges to Abandon Secular Constitution
    Tags:
    immunity, debates, scuffle, fight, brawl, Kurdish People's Democratic Party (HDP), Justice and Development Party (AKP), Turkish Parliament, Ankara, Turkey
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