A fistfight and an exchange of insults in the Turkish parliament between the ruling coalition in Turkey, which includes the right-wing “Justice and Development” parties, the “nationalist movement”, and the “Republican People’s Party”, which is the main opposition party in the country, led to the cancellation of parliament sessions today, which were discussing The general budget for the next 2022.
The fight began, according to videos published by Turkish media and the platforms of the “Republic People’s Party” led by Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, with insults and accusations made by the Turkish Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu, who was discussing with members of Parliament the budget allocated to his ministry, the Ministry of Defense and the relevant security institutions, to Erkan Aydin, a deputy from the party. The main opposition, during the latter’s speech in the parliament dome, criticized the minister for using a private plane and showed a picture confirming this.
Then the verbal altercations and insults developed into a fistfight between the Republican People’s Representatives and the ruling coalition, after Salih Gura, a representative of the Justice and Development Party, defended the Turkish Interior Minister by directing more insults and accusations against Aydin, the representative of the Republican People’s Party.
Turkish Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu (archive – Reuters)
Ozge Mumcu, the media official in the main opposition party, told Al Arabiya.net that “verbal altercations took place between Soylu and Aydin when the former accused the other of fraud, and then developed into a fist fight between our party’s deputies and the ruling coalition’s representatives.”
She added, “This fight took place during discussions of the general budget for the next year,” as the Republican People’s Party objects to the huge sums allocated by the government to the Ministries of Interior and Defense, ignoring the Ministry of Health and the service sector.
Al-Arabiya.net obtained information from parliamentarians stating that Parliament Speaker Mustafa Shantoub wanted to continue the general budget discussion sessions, but the verbal altercations developed into a fistfight that forced him to cancel today’s sessions.
Shantoub had waited for about 45 minutes before deciding to end the parliamentary sessions today, according to a representative from the Republican People’s Party.
The videos, which documented the fight, showed an exchange of aggression between deputies of the ruling coalition and deputies of the main opposition party, following verbal altercations between Soylu and Aydin, against the background of differences over the country’s general budget, which is expected to be approved by Parliament before the end of this year 2021.
This budget, which the main opposition party describes as the “war budget”, turned into a new point of contention between it and the ruling coalition, after its draft showed an increase in the resources allocated to defense and the needs of the internal security forces by 29.6% compared to the previous year, in addition to raising the resources allocated to the Defense Industries Support Fund by 39%.
Yesterday, an informed source in the Republican People’s Party suggested that Turkey’s general budget would record an annual deficit of more than $30 billion, which constitutes approximately 3.5 percent of GDP.
This debate continues between the ruling coalition and its opposition over the country’s general budget, at a time when the national currency has recorded record low levels in its exchange rate against foreign currencies since last November.
Despite the refusal of the representatives of the two largest opposition parties to approve the general budget, the parliamentary majority enjoyed by the ruling coalition consisting of the “Justice and Development Party” and its ally, the “National Movement Party”, authorizes them to approve the budget despite the opposition’s deputies reject it.