A heated exchange between the Turkish interior minister and an opposition MP in parliament ended up in a scuffle between several lawmakers amid the 2022 budget talks.
A video published on social networks by Turkish media shows a crowd of MPs punching each other right in the middle of the session hall, as emotions clearly run high during the 2022 budget talks. It all started when MPs were discussing the funds allocated to the Interior Ministry.
During the talks, a member of the major opposition Republican People's Party (CHP), Erkan Ayd?n, asked interior minister Suleyman Soylu, about his alleged links to a Turkish businessman currently under arrest in Austria on charges leveled by both Turkey and the US that include bribery and fraud.
The question sparked the minister's anger, and he called the MP a liar and a fraud, prompting a heated verbal exchange between the two. Despite the interference of the CHP faction's deputy head, the tensions were soon running high and it was not long before the war of words spiraled into a fist fight between the CHP MPs and those from President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's Justice and Development Party (AKP).
It is not the first such incident, though, since the Turkish parliament has frequently become an arena for brawls between lawmakers. Last month, two MPs engaged in a flight during a parliamentary session over personal insults that saw both opponents calling each other "terrorists."
In March, a much more intense brawl broke out, which saw some lawmakers even climbing onto their desks to throw punches, after an opposition MP criticized Erdogan. In 2017, the budget talks saw several days of consecutive brawls.