Turkish parliament disrupted by fist-fighting

Tuesday 05 August 2014 11.36
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The flare-up comes days before Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan seeks to move to become head of state
The flare-up comes days before Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan seeks to move to become head of state
Nationalist Movement Party deputy Ali Uzunirmak suffered head injuries in the incident
Nationalist Movement Party deputy Ali Uzunirmak suffered head injuries in the incident

Violent scuffles erupted in the Turkish parliament between opposition and ruling party lawmakers over the formation of a commission into the radical Islamist threat in neighbouring Iraq. 

Punches were thrown, suits grabbed and deputies pinned to the ground in the latest flare-up in parliament.

The incident came days ahead of a presidential election where Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan seeks to move to become head of state. 

Opposition Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) members have demanded that a parliamentary commission be set up to investigate the actions of the Islamic State militant group.

IS has abducted dozens of Turkish citizens in the northern Iraqi city of Mosul, the private NTV television reported.

During the vote on the proposal, MHP deputy Ali Uzunirmak accused rivals from Mr Erdogan's ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) of casting votes for absent deputies, calling them "dishonest".

AKP deputy Mustafa Sahin became engaged in verbal arguments with the MHP politician which quickly descended into fist-fighting. 

Pictures from the parliament showed Mr Sahin's nose bleeding, while Mr Uzunirmak suffered head injuries, according to NTV.

However, this was not the end of the dispute, as more fighting erupted when MHP deputy Sinan Ogan clashed with AKP politicians in parliament. 

Mr Ogan, who fell on the ground, received injuries to his face, which prompted an end to the parliament session. 

Mr Ogan later took to Twitter, describing his AKP opponents as "dogs" who had ganged up on him.

"They cannot even come as five against one person. 60 people attacked me all together but they got their response," Mr Ogan wrote.

"With God's help, we are defending the rights of the Turkish people in parliament. The number of AKP dogs we face doesn't matter."

Keywords: turkey