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Rival MPs exchange blows in Turkey parliament

Published on Aug 4, 2014 11:05 PM

ANKARA (AFP) - Violent scuffles erupted on Monday in the Turkish parliament between opposition and ruling party lawmakers over the formation of a commission into the radical Islamist threat in neighbouring Iraq.

Punches were thrown, suits grabbed and deputies pinned to the ground in the latest flare-up in the fractious parliament, days ahead of a presidential election where Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan will seek to move to become head of state.

Opposition Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) lawmakers demanded that a parliamentary commission be set up to investigate the actions of the Islamic State militant group, which abducted dozens of Turkish citizens in the northern Iraqi city of Mosul, the private NTV television reported.

During the vote on the proposal, MHP deputy Ali Uzunirmak accused rivals from Erdogan's ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) of casting votes for absent deputies, calling them "dishonest".

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