A Turkish lawmaker has died two days after collapsing while giving a speech to parliament saying Israel would ‘suffer the wrath of Allah’ for invading Gaza.
Hasan Bitmez, 54, a member of parliament from the opposition Felicity (Saadet) Party, died in Ankara City Hospital, Health Minister Fahrettin Koca told reporters in televised remarks.
Bitmez was seen in a viral video falling to the floor after giving a speech in the General Assembly Hall in Ankara, prompting other politicians to rush to the scene to help him.
Bitmez had concluded his speech, by saying: ‘We can perhaps hide from our conscience but not from history,’ stating that ‘Israel will suffer the wrath of Allah’, as reported by The Yeshiva World.
At that moment, he stumbled and dropped to his knees before lying flat on his back. The Saadet Party Kocaeli Deputy had to be stretchered out of the hall after receiving chest compressions ‘for a long time’, Turkish media reports.
Turhan Çömez, a deputy from the Kemalist İYİ Party and a trained doctor, was reportedly the first to help his political rival.
The politician was taken to the Bilkent City Hospital in Ankara where he underwent treatment in the intensive care unit while in a critical condition.
Koca said on Tuesday that an angiography revealed that the two main veins in his heart were completely blocked.
‘His heart stopped beating, then he was resuscitated in parliament and transferred within 20 minutes to hospital’ where medical machinery kept him alive, Koca had said on Tuesday.
But Koca revealed that Bitmez died today – two days after he suffered the heart attack.
Shortly before he collapsed on Tuesday, Bitmez had been criticising President Tayyip Erdogan’s ruling AK Party (AKP) over Turkey’s ongoing trade with Israel despite the war in Gaza, and despite the government’s sharp rhetorical criticism of Israel’s military bombardment.
“You allow ships to go to Israel and you shamelessly call it trade… You are Israel’s accomplice,” Bitmez said in his speech after placing a banner on the podium reading: “Murderer Israel; collaborator AKP”.
“You have the blood of Palestinians on your hands, you are collaborators. You contribute to every bomb Israel drops on Gaza,” he told lawmakers during debate over the foreign ministry’s 2024 budget.
After finishing the speech, Bitmez suddenly fell backwards on the floor, with other MPs rushing from their seats to help.
Bitmez was elected as the 28th Term Kocaeli Deputy in the elections of May 14, 2023.