Security measure debate leads to fist fight in Turkish parliament

World Today

Turkish lawmakers literally threw punches over one of the country’s most controversial bills. The ruling AKP (Adalet ve Kalkınma Partisi or ‘Justice and Development’ Party) said its new security package would give police more power to preserve public safety. Critics are afraid it will turn Turkey into a “police state.”

CCTV’s Natalie Carney filed this report from Istanbul, Turkey.

Security measure debate leads to fist fight in Turkish parliament

Security measure debate leads to fist fight in Turkish parliament

Turkish lawmakers literally threw punches over one of the country's most controversial bills. The ruling AKP (Adalet ve Kalkınma Partisi or 'Justice and Development' Party) said its new security package would give police more power to preserve public safety. Critics are afraid it will turn Turkey into a "police state." CCTV's Natalie Carney filed this report from Istanbul, Turkey.

Highlights:

  • Turkish parliamentarians threw fists and kicks at one other as tensions sharply rose following the first day of deliberation of a new proposed domestic security package. Five people were sent to hospital.
  • The ruling AKP submitted the 132-article security bill shortly after 34 people were killed in pro-Kurdish demonstrations back in October. The Legal Package To Protect Freedom bill would give greater powers to security forces to crack down on protesters and keep the peace.
  • Under the proposed law, security forces will be allowed to detain a suspect up to 48 hours without a judge’s approval. They would also be able to search a person, an office and car based on “reasonable suspicion”.
  • The AKP have gained approval for 33 of the 132 articles.
  • While the United States has voiced its concerns, Turkey’s AKP says many of the proposed articles are in line with other Western countries.
  • Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan vows that it “will pass one way or another” and hopes that will be before June’s parliamentary elections.
  • Turkey’s main opposition parties have taken off the gloves and pledged to continue the fight until the bill is knocked out of the ring.