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The Turkish Government Wants To Prosecute Lawmakers And There Was A Huge Brawl Over It

Members of the ruling party and the pro-Kurdish opposition have made a habit of throwing punches lately.

Posted on May 3, 2016, at 1:00 p.m. ET

A debate in Turkey's parliament over stripping lawmakers of their immunity from prosecution devolved into a massive fight on Monday, with fists flying and people nearly trampled in the scrum.

Welcome to Turkey! Erdogan's rabid AKP thugs attacking HDP MPs in parliament again!! #US #EU #UN #Turkei

It got so heated at one point that a person literally jumped over a table to dive into the fray.

Video - Dokunulmazlık görüşmelerindeki kavganın görüntüleri https://t.co/sN4cgLa41N

Here's the backstory: Turkey's ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) has proposed a plan to allow pro-Kurdish lawmakers with the Peoples' Democracy Party (HDP) to be prosecuted over alleged ties to militant groups.

Umit Bektas / Reuters

Monday's fight was just the latest round of fisticuffs between the HDP and AKP. A session of parliament last Wednesday also ended in punches thrown over military operations against Turkey's Kurds.

Stringer / Reuters

The parliament's constitutional committee — where the brawl broke out — eventually passed the government-backed proposal, sending it to the full body for a vote.

"No one should hope to push the government into backing out [of its plans] with this kind of behaviour," government spokesman Numan Kurtulmus warned, AFP reported, adding "whatever happens, the demand to lift the immunity [of lawmakers]... will be presented to Parliament."
AP Photo / File

"No one should hope to push the government into backing out [of its plans] with this kind of behaviour," government spokesman Numan Kurtulmus warned, AFP reported, adding "whatever happens, the demand to lift the immunity [of lawmakers]... will be presented to Parliament."

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