Turkish PM lashes opposition MPs over parliament brawls

ANKARA (AA) – Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu has blamed an opposition party for recent brawling between MPs which has marred meetings in Turkey’s parliament.

Speaking at his Justice and Development (AK) Party’s parliamentary group meeting in Ankara on Tuesday, Davutoglu accused the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) of “defending the violence that targets our people” and “trying to implement it” in parliament.

On Monday, a Turkish parliamentary commission experienced the latest episode of fighting, with MPs exchanging punches over legal amendments which could see some deputies’ immunity from prosecution taken away.

The commission later approved a bill to remove such immunity from nearly a quarter of the country’s 560 lawmakers.

Davutoglu accused the HDP of continuing to speak for “a bloody organization” — a reference to the PKK.

He also accused HDP members of parliament of “attacking our lawmakers to block the process” of removing immunity from MPs facing criminal charges.

Davutoglu said these MPs were trying to show the Turkish parliament as a place of “fights and chaos”.

The HDP, which has 59 MPs, has been accused of being affiliated to the terrorist PKK organization.

The PKK resumed its 30-year armed campaign against the Turkish state in July 2015.

Since then, over 400 members of the security forces including soldiers, police officers and village guards have been martyred and more than 3,700 PKK terrorists killed in operations across Turkey and northern Iraq.