MHP leader Bahçeli warns deputies after brawl in parliament
Umut Erdem - ANKARA
Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) leader Devlet Bahçeli has warned deputies from his party against what he described as “provocations” after a brawl erupted earlier this week in parliament during discussions on a crucial legislation that allows political parties to form pre-election alliances and overhauls electoral regulations before the 2019 elections.
“Parliament does not deserve such scenes,” Bahçeli said, referring to the fisticuffs between the deputies.
“It is of utmost importance that we do not heed to provocations, especially at such critical times,” Bahçeli reportedly told his party’s parliamentary group.
“Brawls cannot be approved and the MHP is not the party of fights,” he said.
On March 13, lawmakers from the MHP and the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) engaged in fisticuffs during the discussions on the controversial law which revamps election regulations when CHP deputy Musa Çam recalled President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s past comments on Bahçeli.
“Erdoğan previously said about Bahçeli that ‘he doesn’t have any possessions and he doesn’t understand about having children,’” Çam said, referring to the fact that Bahçeli is unmarried and does not have children.
“You should not spit in a face that you will kiss one day. And you should not kiss a face that you have spat on before,” Çam added.
His remarks infuriated MHP deputies in the general assembly.
A brawl erupted between lawmakers after the MHP’s parliamentary group approached Çam at the rostrum.
The session was adjourned but the brawl continued in the corridors outside.
The 26-article law was approved by a majority vote led by the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) and the MHP.
Following the fight in parliament MHP deputies and party supporters launched a campaign on social media, criticizing Çam.
However, within a few hours the number of messages posted on social media targeting Çam declined fast. It is reported that the campaign against Çam lost steam quickly because of Bahçeli’s warning.