Legislator Pushed Down Staircase in Second Turkish Parliament Brawl This Week


A second all-out fist fight broke out in the Turkish parliament this week after a debate over a national security bill opponents claim would significantly hinder the national right of assembly. Numerous legislators were hurt, particularly opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) representative Orhan Düzgün, who fell down a staircase after ruling party AKP deputy Suat Önal pushed him.

While discussion grew heated when the CHP objected to the new law because “the bill contradicted both parliament’s internal regulations and the constitution,” violence erupted following the CHP accusation that the AKP purposely mispronounced names. From Hurriyet Daily News:

Tension first rose after Deputy Parliament Speaker Sadık Yakut, who was administrating the session, repeatedly mispronounced the name of Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) deputy Adil Zozani, calling him “Mr. Zazani.”

Main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) deputy Sezgin Tanrıkulu, standing at rostrum to address parliament, thought Yakut had addressed his name incorrectly and criticized him.

After Yakut responded by saying “Shame on you,” CHP Deputy Parliamentary Group Chair Akif Hamzaçebi stepped in to voice his reaction.

Zozani then addressed Yakut and told him: “You’re having trouble saying names and surnames. We advise you to take a rest.”

Yakut responded: “You yourself should take a rest, don’t play the doctor here.”

When Zozani said “I understand your psychology very well,” Yakut replied by saying “You should first of all look at your own psychology.”

Tanrıkulu, who was still waiting to give his speech at the rostrum, then addressed Yakut, saying: “I’m a member of this parliament and I have the internal regulation in my hands, you should first of all address me.”

After Yakut laughed at Tanrıkulu’s warning, the latter told him: “You shouldn’t be laughing so loosely either.”

After Tanrıkulu was finally given the floor, AKP Deputy Parliamentary Group Chair Mahir Ünal waded in, saying: “You’ll say everything, you’ll come and talk and we won’t say anything, is that so?”

CHP members panicked and rushed to Düzgün’s rescue. Hasan Ören received a cut over the eyebrow as he tried to protect Düzgün, who refused to leave and see a doctor.

This fight was not as severe as the one on February 17, when five lawmakers were physically injured. The fight included “eye-gouging and striking with a ceremonial mallet.” Two men were hospitalized and another three received treatment inside the medical office in the building.