Turkey’s Parliament Brawls While Debating Corruption Probe

Second fight this year as government attempts to tighten control of judiciary

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The ruling party lawmakers, right, and the members of the main opposition fight each other after a brawl broke out in Turkey's parliament

Members of Turkey’s parliament got into a brawl on Thursday while debating a corruption scandal that has rattled the government of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, leaving an opposition legislator hospitalized after a punch to the face.

The lawmakers were due to resume a discussion on a draft bill that aims to tighten the government’s control over the courts, as it continues to fight the corruption probe that has led to hundreds of police officials and dozens of prosecutors being removed from their positions. It’s the second fight to have broken out in Turkey’s parliament this month.

During Erdogan’s visit to Brussels this week, the European Union warned his bill, which would give authority over prosecutors and judges to the executive branch, would undermine the independence of Turkey’s judiciary.

The prime minister stayed firm on his position, insisting the bill wouldn’t amount to a separation of powers. “The judiciary should not go beyond its defined mission and mandate,” he said. “When one power starts interfering with another power, this country loses its quality of democracy.” Erdogan said the bill would force some of the judges in his country to act more independently than they currently do.

The opposition fled the chamber in protest at the violence and the debate was postponed until Friday.



Courts' proceedings should be telecast live.   The public should be encouraged to put views on courts' functioning on courts' websites.   What about laws for litigants?  


Everyone has heard of neoliberalism, but not many outside Germany have heard of ordoliberalism. I’m hardly an expert on it either, and in particular I know very little about the particular thinkers involved and the many varieties of each concept. However as an economist it seems to me that ordoliberalism is much closer to economics than neoliberalism.

The clear difference between the two ideologies involves the role of the state. Neoliberalism wants to minimise the role of government, and in particular is naturally against all forms of state interference in markets. Its attitude to markets is essentially laissez-faire: leave market participants alone. In contrast ordoliberalism sees a vital role for the state, in ensuring that markets stay close to some notion of an ideal market. In particular, ordoliberals believe that without a strong government powerful private interests would undermine competition. This view is often credited with inspiring strong competition laws in Germany, and perhaps also in the European Union (see this paper by Gerhard Schnyder and Mathias Siems). In this respect, Ed Miliband’s proposals for UK banking discussed by Chris Dillow are rather ordoliberal.

Ordoliberalism therefore seems much closer to the attitude an economist would naturally take. There is a clear sense in which perfect competition is an ideal in certain situations, but no clear reason why this ideal should obtain naturally. There are plenty of reasons why imperfect competition may persist, and only a few may be the consequence of government ‘interference’. There is therefore an obvious role for government to counteract anti-competitive behaviour by ‘big business’.