Turkish deputies injured in fighting as education bill passes
ANKARA - Hürriyet
The commission continued to vote on the bill despite the ensuing fight in the commission chambers. AA photo
Chairs were hurled and a deputy was nearly crushed when fighting broke out in Turkish Parliament as a hotly-debated education bill was passed today.
Around 100 deputies from the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) blockaded the rotunda in the hall where the bill was discussed to prevent a possible occupation by deputies from the main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP).
Fighting broke out in the commission chambers between AKP deputies and around 50 deputies from the CHP, who were waiting outside the chambers until then, as the bill was being put to vote.
Several deputies were reportedly injured as MPs hurled chairs at each other and CHP deputy Nur Serter narrowly escaped being crushed in the brawl.
The commission continued the vote despite the ongoing fighting and the education reform bill was passed.
The controversial bill had come under fire for the allegedly premature introduction of vocational classes after four years of basic education and for allowing students to opt out of school in favor of home study after eight years. Critics say the new system will encourage child labor and undermine the schooling of girls.