Opposition ‘MPs’ in the north called on ‘parliament speaker’ Zorlu Tore to resign on Thursday evening during rising tensions surrounding the ‘state’ budget.

The controversy arose as ‘parliament’s’ finance committee discussed its own budget for the upcoming year, with ‘deputy speaker’ Fazilet Ozdenefe pointing out that allowances had been made for “out-of-service vehicles being filled up with fuel at regular intervals.”

Pushing the ‘government’ to explain why these expenditures had been incurred despite the vehicles in question not being driven anywhere, she asked “how can this issue be explained? Thousands of liras worth of petrol was put into vehicles which don’t exist. We cannot continue to discuss this budget. There needs to be an investigation.”

Ozdenefe’s argument even won support from a backbench ‘MP’ from ruling party UBP, Hasan Kucuk.

He said “it is said the vehicles are undergoing repairs, there are documents proving it was sent away for repairs, but at the same time, someone is buying fuel for them every other day. I am ashamed to bring this issue to light in this way.”

The committee was then adjourned for ten minutes. Following the adjournment, Ozdenefe strengthened her rhetoric, saying “there is a serious issue, here. This is financial crime. This committee cannot move forward without official advice.”

Opposition ‘MPs’ rallied around Ozdenefe’s position, demanding that the budget not be approved without an investigation into the irregularities.

Committee chairwoman Resmiye Canaltay attempted to calm the situation, saying the ‘government’ would “take every step to investigate the possibility of irregularities,” but tensions only increased.

Tore seemed to heighten tensions when he said he had made a request to purchase new vehicles “on a priority basis”, with committee members saying they had no knowledge of the planned purchases. He also refused to answer questions on other perceived budget irregularities.

In reaction to this, CTP ‘MP’ Sila Usar Incirli said “if there is such a weakness in accountability regarding parliament’s budget, let’s not move on to other institutions.”

She added, “there is a weakness in the administrative and financial management of this parliament. This is not how things should work.”

CTP Leader Tufan Erhurman then led the calls for Tore to resign, saying “you need to resign because of what emerged here today. I don’t care how much money was spent on which car, or how much petrol was put in it. You declared this place your personal kingdom.”

Despite the opposition’s protests, the ‘parliament’s’ budget passed through the committee stage with the votes from ‘MPs’ from the ruling coalition.”

In reaction, Erhurman said “democracy and the rule of law have been trampled on to day in parliament,” and continued to discuss the matter with Tore long after the committee meeting had concluded.

The next item on the budgetary agenda is the budget of the ‘prime minister’s office’.