Opposition HDP MP’s corruption remarks stir brawl in Turkish Parliament
A criticism by Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) Istanbul deputy Garo Paylan to the government based on main opposition Republican People’s Party’s (CHP) accusations of the government’s alleged involvement in a multi-million dollar traffic through an off-shore company in the tax haven Isle of Man has prompted a fresh brawl to erupt in parliament.
During budget talks in parliament late on Dec. 20, Paylan lashed out at the government and the Finance Ministry for remaining silent to documents provided by the CHP over alleged lucrative financial transactions of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s inner circle.
“You, Mr. Finance Minister, you should ask [the CHP] where they found the documents. You should put MASAK [Financial Crime Investigation Board] into action, and they should ask: ‘Where did you find them?’ Otherwise friends, we cannot walk with the immorality and those tax immoralities in this country,” Paylan said.
His words drew an immediate backlash from ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) Deputy Group Chair İlknur İnceöz.
“You are the last person in parliament we will learn a lesson on morality from, and I should specifically clarify that you will never be. You are not even the last person [to give a lesson on morality] in this parliament,” İnceöz said.
Paylan urged İnceöz not to engage in immorality, as his remarks drew reactions from other AKP deputies in parliament. İnceöz also walked up to the HDP sides and Paylan after his remarks.
The parliament speaker later gave a break to the session after the brawl intensified.
Some lawmakers also tried to prevent the brawl from escalating.
Last month, CHP leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu claimed that the president’s inner circle, including his family members, made transactions worth around $15 million to an off-shore company called Bellway Limited in the tax haven Isle of Man between December 2011 and January 2012.
Erdoğan had slammed the documents revealed by the CHP as “fake,” while also filing criminal complaints against Kılıçdaroğlu demanding up to 1.5 million Turkish Liras ($391,450) in compensation for the accusations.