ANKARA, Feb 18 (Reuters) - Turkish parliamentarians threw punches and two were taken to hospital late on Tuesday after a debate over a bill aimed at cracking down on violent demonstrations descended into a brawl, local media reported.
Five people were injured in the evening session debate, Dogan news agency reported. It said Ertugrul Kurkcu of the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) suffered a head wound and a photo showed him with a dressing on his head.
Four Republican People’s Party (CHP) deputies were hurt, and two of them were taken to hospital, after clashing with members of the ruling AK Party, Dogan added.
“This is the first time I’ve seen a stretcher brought into parliament. Water glasses were flying through the air, people were rolling on the ground, someone was wielding a gavel,” CHP deputy Melda Onur told Hayat TV.
The legislation, which would bolster the powers of the authorities to control protests, has been widely condemned by the opposition, who accuse the AKP of trying to create a police state in the NATO member nation. (Additional reporting by Daren Butler in Istanbul, writing by Jonny Hogg; Editing by Hugh Lawson)