Scuffle at Parliament over defense in Kurdish

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 Deputies of the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) and the Peace and Democratic Party (BDP) nearly came to blows.

A scuffle broke out in Turkish Parliament during a crucial debate on a law enabling Kurdish culprits to speak in court in their mother tongue during hearings of the Kurdistan Communities Union (KCK) trial.

Deputies of the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), who have vocally opposed such a move, nearly came to blows with Kurdish representatives of the Peace and Democratic Party (BDP), but were eventually separated with difficulties after discussions heated up.

Oktay Vural, the MHP’s parliamentary group deputy chairman, criticized the proposal and argued that approving this measure would mean accepting a request from the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK). “This law aims to legitimize the sovereignty of terror,” Vural said in a vehement speech.

Meanwhile, deputies from the BDP loudly criticized deputy Parliament speaker Sadık Yakut for giving the floor to Vural. The BDP’s parliamentary group deputy chairman, İdris Baluken responded to Vural by accusing him of “creating propaganda.”

Other deputies tried to ease the situation as tensions grew into a row. Lawmakers from the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) defended the proposal, arguing that Turkish citizens living in Germany should also have the right to defend themselves in German if they are better able to express themselves in that language. 

 

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