Turkey Lawmakers Brawl In Parliament

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Turkey lawmakers brawl in parliament

One senior lawmaker with the ruling Justice and Development (AK) party suffered a broken nose, according to the report.

Tensions run high

Despite the brawl, the measure was passed Thursday in the 550-member assembly, Anadolu said.
Violent outbreaks are uncommon in Turkey’s parliament but tensions are high over the 18-article constitutional reform package, which has been put forward by the governing AK party.
The government has said that if the measures are passed by parliament, they will lead to a public referendum on replacing the current parliamentary system with a presidential model, Anadolu said.
Thursday is the fourth day of debate on the package of amendments. Thirteen articles are still to be debated and voted on, according to the news agency.

Coup crackdown

Opponents of the proposed constitutional changes fear the changes will give too much power to President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
Since an attempted coup in July, Erdogan has led an intense crackdown on government critics and the militant Kurdistan Workers’ Party, or PKK, as well as those with alleged ties to US-based cleric Fethullah Gulen, whom Turkey blames for the coup attempt.
Hundreds of military officers have been suspended, thousands of teachers have been dismissed, public servants sacked and media organizations shut down.

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