Brawl In Turkish Paliament

Turkish lawmakers got into an fight during the first day of debate over a homeland security bill, with people throwing office chairs and gavels, leaving five people seriously injured.

The fighting took place early on Wednesday, February 18th, during a closed-door session as opposition political parties proposed motions to delay the beginning of their debate, the state-run Anadolu Agency reported.

Lawmaker Mahmut Tanal, who was hit, described the fighting as unprecedented.

According to lawmaker Ertugrul Kurkcu, the fighting legislators threw chairs and used the assembly’s gavel and bell to hit others.

The brawl comes amid tensions between the opposition and the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) over the security bill that the government is pushing for an approval, according to Press TV.

Press TV: “Under the bill, which was presented to the parliament last month, the prime minister of the country and other cabinet ministers would be able to shut down websites for reasons including ‘national security’ without a court order.

“The legislation would also expand certain powers of the police, which would allow officers to conduct searches during protests and to detain people for up to 48 hours without a prosecutor’s authorization. In addition, the police would be permitted to use firearms to prevent an attack in public against people using Molotov cocktails or other similar weapons.”

Secular Talk

Guardian: 30 Killed, 97 Wounded In Offensive In Eastern Ukraine


According to The Guardian: “Pro-Russian rebels announced a major new offensive in Ukraine on Saturday after missiles killed at least 30 people in Mariupol, a strategic city linking rebel territory with Russian-occupied Crimea.

The mayor’s office in Mariupol said 97 people were also wounded in the attack, which struck a crowded residential district early in the morning and then again shortly after midday.

Sources claim that Rebel leader Alexander Zakharchenko said on Friday that he had withdrawn from all peace talks with “pro-western leaders” in Kiev.

On Saturday he said his forces had started “an offensive against Mariupol” but did not accept direct responsibility for the earlier rocket attack.

The European Union condemned the attacks and warned that the resurgence in fighting would harm EU-Russia relations.

EU foreign affairs chief Federica Mogherini said the attack “would inevitably lead to a further grave deterioration of relations between the EU and Russia.”,

The Chief Monitor of the U.N. Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe for Ukraine, Ertuğrul Apakan, called for an immediate ceasefire.

“Ukraine and its people need and deserve peace. The parties must return to the negotiating table without further delay,” said Apakan.