Brawl erupts in Turkish parliament over immunity proposal

May 2, 2016 6:21 pm

This file photo shows a general view of a session of the Turkish parliament.

Lawmakers in the Turkish parliament have once more engaged in a fistfight over a controversial government proposal for stripping the legislators of their immunity from prosecution.
Television broadcasts showed Monday lawmakers hurling water bottles and other objects across a hall where members of the constitutional committee of the Turkish parliament were meeting to discuss a government-backed proposal to strip MPs of their immunity from prosecution.
The main brawl was between lawmakers from the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) and those from the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democracy Party (HDP).
AKP’s proposal, which has stirred huge controversy in the media, could pave the way for the trial of several pro-Kurdish legislators on terror-related charges. It came after AKP’s main figure, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, accused HDP of being an arm of the outlawed Kurdish militants.
The fracas, one of the worst clashes seen in the Turkish parliament, forced president of the committee to delay the session on Monday. Last Thursday, a first debate of the bill also caused quarrels.
Idris Baluken, the head of the HDP’s faction in parliament, dislocated his shoulder while other MPs sought medical help after the fighting.
has been taking tough on on Kurdish militants in the country’s southeast, with military and police claiming that they have killed hundreds from the Kurdistan Workers’ Party, or the PKK. Senior HDP figures have repeatedly challenged the figures, saying many of those killed in the crackdown have been civilians.
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