AKP, CHP scuffle in Turkish parliament over Zarrab case
A brawl ensued in Turkish parliament on Nov. 29 after Iranian-Turkish businessman Reza Zarrab’s testimony the same day in the New York case on former Halkbank Deputy Chief Hakan Atilla.
The main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) and the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) became entangled in a parliamentary debate, as CHP lawmakers argued the initial case on corruption allegations on Zarrab in Turkey had been covered up by the AKP.
During the hearing, Zarrab claimed he had paid millions of dollars in bribes to former Turkish Economy Minister Zafer Çağlayan to facilitate transactions with Iran, leading Turkish parliamentarians to bring the issue to the general assembly’s agenda.
The CHP lawmakers asked questions about the Zarrab case, addressing Justice Minister Abdulhamit Gül during the discussion on the amendment of the Supreme Board of Elections law.
They argued that the case had been politically closed in Turkey, as the initial case opened on Zarrab’s alleged corruption operations in Turkey was closed in 2014 from lack of grounds for legal action.
When asked by the CHP lawmakers whether the ruling government would initiate a new process to lift the nonsuit decision, opening a way for a re-trial, Gül accused them of acting against Turkey’s interests in the case.
“We are saddened that Atatürk’s party is moving towards becoming FETÖ’s [Fethullahist Terrorist Organization] party,” he said.
“It is a shame for Turkey and the CHP” Gül said.
The discussion transformed into a brawl after CHP lawmaker Özgür Özel approached Gül.
Some AKP and CHP lawmakers tried to intervene in the quarrel between Özel and Gül, but some however, engaged in the scuffle.