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Fighting breaks out in Turkish parliament

AFP , Wednesday 18 Feb 2015
CHP's Musa Çam during the fight (Photo: Courtesy of Today's Zaman)
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The Turkish parliament descended into chaos when a brawl broke out as the country's ruling party sought to push through a controversial bill to boost police powers.

Five opposition lawmakers were injured in the brawl overnight Tuesday to Wednesday, with two suffering head injuries inflicted by the president of the assembly's hammer, the Dogan news agency said.

Four of the five required hospital treatment for their injuries and the session was adjourned until later Wednesday.

The opposition fears the bill will effectively create a police state under President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Lawmakers had earlier used a variety of delaying tactics to thwart the debate on the bill.

The so-called "homeland security reform" bill was submitted to parliament by the ruling Islamic-rooted Justice and Development Party (AKP) after deadly pro-Kurdish protests in October.

"We consider it a law that facilitates a switch to an authoritarian state," Aykan Erdemir, a lawmaker for the opposition Republican People's Party (CHP), told AFP.

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