Turkish MPs throw punches, chairs at each other

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ANKARA: A fight broke out in the Turkish parliament during a debate on 18-article constitutional package to switch from the existing parliamentary system to an executive presidency.

Punches and chairs were thrown on each other by law makers from ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) and main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP).

The brawl was reportedly started when the CHP MPs raised an objection to the ruling party deputies for casting their votes outside cabins set up for the secret ballot.

A CHP lawmaker broke nose of AKP MP Fatih Sahin while another CHP MP  bit leg of Trabzon deputy Mehammed Balta.

However, despite the free-for-all first five articles of the 18-article constitutional package were approved in the session.

The debate on the package will resume on Thursday afternoon.

Brawls are often reported in parliaments around the world over the years.

The government required at least 330 votes to get the draft bill approved in the 550-seat parliament. The AKP has 316 votes while its ally MHP has 40 deputies.

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