Turkish PM Tightens Control Of Judges As Lawmakers Brawl

Tayyip Erdogan bill broadens authority over judiciary after anti-corruption investigation

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Turkish legislators from Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's ruling party and the main opposition Republican People's Party brawl during the heated debate in Ankara, Feb. 15, 2014.

A brawl broke out on the floor of the Turkish Parliament Saturday shortly before lawmakers passed a law increasing government control over the appointment of judges and prosecutors. 

The government of Turkish prime minister Tayyip Erdogan pushed the law through in response to a judiciary-led investigation into corruption charges against his regime, Reuters reports. Opposition lawmakers reacted furiously, saying the bill was intended to stifle the investigation by giving Erdogan more control over judges.

A deputy with the ruling Justice and Development Party, or AKP, was left with broken fingers after the brawl, and an opposition member with a broken nose was hospitalized. The Turkish government under Erdogan has dismissed thousands of police officers and hundreds of judges and prosecutors in what is widely seen as an attempt to impede the corruption investigation.