Turkish Parliament speaker meets parties after punches fly at General Assembly
AA photoParliament Speaker İsmail Kahraman brought together the group deputy chairpersons of all parties at Turkey’s parliament on Dec. 13, after fists flew once again at the General Assembly on Dec. 12.
Along with the heightened tension at parliament meetings, jailed deputies were also on the agenda of the meeting, state-run Anadolu Agency reported.
Kahraman convened the group deputy chairpersons of all parties after budget talks at parliament witnessed a fist fight between ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) and Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) MPs.
The 45-minute meeting was attended by parliament’s deputy speakers Ahmet Aydın, Ayşe Nur Bahçekapılı and Pervin Buldan, along with the AKP group deputy chairpersons Mustafa Elitaş, Naci Bostancı and İlknur İnceöz, main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) Group Deputy Chair Özgür Özel, Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) Group Deputy Chair Erhan Usta and HDP Muş deputy Ahmet Yıldırım.
During the meeting, Kahraman asked the HDP’s Buldan, due to chair the Dec. 13 session in the General Assembly, to remove pictures of imprisoned lawmakers from the HDP’s chairs at the parliament, Anadolu Agency reported.
After Buldan refused this demand, the CHP’s Özel defended the placement of the pictures.
“If a lawmaker has committed a crime, it has to be proven. But if there is no guilt, there should be no such thing as arrested deputies,” he added.
Özel also asked for a solution to be found on the problem of detained lawmakers, to which Kahraman responded that the Parliamentary Speaker’s Office is working on a “comprehensive study” to allow the deputies to participate in legislative activities.
Tension rose during budget talks on Dec. 12, when AKP lawmakers accused HDP representatives of not distancing themselves from the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK). The temperature rose further after the HDP deputies referred to their party’s jailed deputies and asked the AKP group to investigate corruption allegations against its own party members.
Ten Kurdish issue-focused HDP lawmakers are currently in jail on terror charges, in addition to party co-chairs Selahattin Demirtaş and Figen Yüksekdağ. In their absence, the HDP group has placed pictures of the imprisoned lawmakers on their seats at parliament.