The Corner

National Security & Defense

A Glimmer of Hope for Turkish Democracy? Their Parliament Had a Brawl Yesterday

Here at National Review, we’re big fans of parliamentary brawls. In fact, I’d like to think legislative violence (there’s a Wikipedia page) represents some sign of hope for a democracy — that serious disputes are still being settled on the floor, even though relations between political factions have grown incredibly tense. Whether that might apply to Turkey right now, I’m not sure: The brawl broke out during debate over a measure to increase police power over violent demonstrations, pushed by the majority party, President Erdogan’s AKP. The three big opposition parties, which don’t share political leanings, are trying to push off debate of the measure with a variety of parliamentary delaying tactics, but the Turkish state’s power to manipulate political movements, the media, and just about everything else is already pretty formidable.

In fact, when it comes to Turkish politics — a world of show trials, actual conspiracies, judicial and military coups, shadowy business networks — legislative fisticuffs almost feels downright transparent and democratic. 

Patrick Brennan was a senior communications official at the Department of Health and Human Services during the Trump administration and is former opinion editor of National Review Online.

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