Brawl Erupts in Turkey's Parliament Over Constitutional Reform

Brawl Erupts in Turkeys Parliament Over Constitutional ReformPlayABCNews.com
WATCH Brawl Erupts in Turkey's Parliament Over Constitutional Reform

Lawmakers from opposing parties in Turkey's general assembly clashed during a tense session on a controversial set of constitutional reforms on Thursday, with the physical confrontation being caught on video and posted to social media.

The general assembly is in the midst of a two-week debate over proposed sweeping changes to the country's constitution that would give the president the power to appoint and dismiss government ministers, lead his own political party, propose budgets and declare states of emergency.

The changes would also allow current president Recep Tayyip Erdogan to remain in office until 2029.

The debate comes after weeks of tumult in Turkey that include a spate of terrorist attacks within its borders. The proposed changes are seen by many as a response to the failed coup in July that Erdogan has blamed on U.S.-based cleric Fethullah Gulen.

The botched coup set the stage for a sweeping purge of state institutions that has alarmed rights groups and Western governments.

Despite the fight erupting, lawmakers approved several articles of the bill, Reuters reported.

If passed, the government will submit the package of amendments to a referendum for a final approval — possibly in the spring.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.