At the core of a fist fight – that even included a flying iPad – among Turkey’s parliamentarians is a corruption scandal that may be ensnaring the political party of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan. He’s definitely not happy with the investigation and has responded by firing police officers and other individuals it suspects of plotting against him. The fight was the result of Erdogan’s plan for dealing with the investigation not being all well received.
When the scuffles broke out, parliament’s justice commission was gathering to discuss a draft bill from Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan’s AK Party to give it more say over the judiciary.
The fight erupted when a representative of a judicial association arrived with a petition arguing the bill was anti-constitutional, but was not allowed to speak, witnesses said.
“If I am being kicked at here as a representative of the judiciary, all prosecutors and judges will be trampled on when this law passes,” a ruffled Omer Faruk Eminagaoglu, head of the YARSAV professional association, said after the ruckus.
Erdogan has cast the wide-ranging corruption investigation, which poses one of the biggest challenges of his 11-year rule, as an attempted “judicial coup” meant to undermine him in the run-up to local and presidential elections this year.
He has responded by purging the police force of hundreds of officers and seeking tighter control over the judiciary.
According to the Reuters report, Erdogan’s supporters believe the investigation against Erdogan’s AK Party is the work of none other than Fethullah Gulen, who resides in the U.S. and is seen by many as one of the world’s most dangerous Islamic clerics. The High Council of Judges and Prosecutors (HSYK) is believed to be dominated by Gulen loyalists, known as Gulenists. Erdogan and Gulenists have a history of adversarial relations. Wikileaks revealed that Turkey’s president Abdullah Gul is a Gulenist.
Gul comes across as much more politically savvy than Erdogan.
Here is a video of the fracas (h/t The Blaze):