Lawmakers brawl in a tense commission meeting
The fight took place during the Planning and Budget Commission meeting in which lawmakers had been discussing for weeks an omnibus law that includes more than 170 articles on different topics.A fight between lawmakers from the opposition and ruling parties broke out in Parliament on July 10 over a debate on the amount of money to be allocated to victims of the deadly Soma mine accident.
The fight took place during the Planning and Budget Commission meeting in which lawmakers had been discussing for weeks an omnibus law that includes more than 170 articles on different topics.
The Republican People’s Party (CHP) lawmaker Özgür Özel recalled that Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan had promised to increase the salary of the Soma workers to 2,000 Turkish Liras, following the Soma mine accident that killed 301 workers in May, and insisted the government keep its promise. But, ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) lawmakers stressed it was gross salary and Erdoğan did not promise 2,000 liras as a net salary.
The commission meeting was then suspended as tension in the commission began to increase. However, it continued during the break, as Özel repeated his position that Erdoğan did not keep his promise to the workers. AKP’s İlknur Denizli objected to Özel’s accusations, calling him a liar.
A quarrel between Özel and Denizli was then disrupted by another AKP lawmaker, Feramuz Üstün, who reacted to the CHP lawmaker for the language he used toward a woman.
Üstün then grabbed Özel’s throat and punched him in the face during a large scuffle, which also saw two lawmakers exchange punches at one another. The fight was eventually broken up by CHP lawmakers.