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May 29, 2007

Republican fist fight?

I don't know all that much about Turkish politics, except for incidents involving live turkeys.

But I'm rather partial to fistfights on the floor of the legislature. Because I've always wondered what would happen if they called a session of the legislature and a hockey game broke out.

So I was fascinated by this tale from Turkey: "Turkish MPs fight during election reform debate."

Turkish lawmakers traded blows Monday during a stormy parliamentary debate on constitutional changes that would see the president elected by popular vote in a bid to resolve recent political turmoil.

President Ahmet Necdet Sezer last week rejected one attempt to introduce the amendments pushed by Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's Islamist-rooted Justice and Development Party (AKP).

Trouble started in the assembly after independent deputy Ummet Kandogan accused Sezer of harbouring "hatred" against Erdogan as he brandished a newspaper photo of the two sitting next to each other at military games last week, reportedly without exchanging a word.

The main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) protested that the president was insulted and the row soon grew into an exchange of punches and kicks between several CHP and AKP deputies, prompting a break in the debate.
I'm pleased to report that the Associated Press has photos of this epic battle.

The kicker is where I got these photos. Yahoo has a page of "politics photos and slideshows" and since this fight involved the Turkish Republican People's Party, naturally Yahoo grouped these photos under the heading "Republican Debate" along with photos of, well, check it out:

In case you think I'm making this up, here's a screencap:

I think Yahoo may have to recycle these photos in about six months. Right around Thanksgiving.