Turkey: Fist Fight In Parliament Leaves Opposition MP In Hospital

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By Hamdi Firat Buyuk

An opposition lawmaker was hospitalised on Tuesday after fighting erupted and MPs traded punches in the Turkish parliament during a tense debate on the national budget.

As dozens of MPs brawled, Huseyin Ors, a lawmaker from the junior opposition Good Party, was punched by ruling Justice and Development Party, AKP lawmaker Zafer Isik.

Ors, who suffers from heart problems and has a cardiac pacemaker, was taken to intensive care in hospital as a result.

“It is a sad day on behalf of the Turkish Grand National Assembly and a shameful day for those who carried out the attack,” Good Party spokesperson Kursad Zorlu said.

Ors also had a head injury and his eyebrow was split due to a ring worn by his assailant, Isik, an MP from Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s ruling AKP.

Aylin Cesur, another Good Party MP who is also a medical doctor, said that Ors’ situation remains critical.

“His treatment continues in the intensive care unit as his life-threatening condition continues. I hope such events will not be repeated,” Cesur said, according to Turkish online news outlet T24.

Noisy rows and verbal assaults are not uncommon in the Turkish parliament but Tuesday’s tumult was exceptional.

“I condemn the attack on our Trabzon MP, Mr. Ors. … this fist raised against the representative of the nation was also thrown at the nation itself,” Bugra Kavuncu, head of Good Party’s Istanbul branch wrote on Twitter.

Tension has been running high in the Turkish parliament over the government’s proposed budget for 2023.

Due to the chaos in parliament, all sessions were suspended by deputy speaker Haydar Akar, a member of the main opposition Republican People’s Party, CHP, who was presiding over Tuesday’s debate.

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The Balkan Insight (fornerkt the Balkin Investigative Reporting Network, BIRN) is a close group of editors and trainers that enables journalists in the region to produce in-depth analytical and investigative journalism on complex political, economic and social themes. BIRN emerged from the Balkan programme of the Institute for War & Peace Reporting, IWPR, in 2005. The original IWPR Balkans team was mandated to localise that programme and make it sustainable, in light of changing realities in the region and the maturity of the IWPR intervention. Since then, its work in publishing, media training and public debate activities has become synonymous with quality, reliability and impartiality. A fully-independent and local network, it is now developing as an efficient and self-sustainable regional institution to enhance the capacity for journalism that pushes for public debate on European-oriented political and economic reform.

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