Hasan Bitmez, an opposition Turkish lawmaker, died on Thursday, two days after suffering a heart attack and collapsing in front of parliament while finishing a speech criticizing the government’s policy toward Israel.
Hasan Bitmez, 54, a Felicity (Saadet) Party member of parliament, died in Ankara City Hospital.
Bitmez, an Al Azhar University graduate, was the chairman of the Centre for Islamic Union Research and had previously worked for Islamic non-governmental organizations.
Until his demise, Bitmez was the married father of one.
He collapsed to the floor after standing at the podium before the general assembly on Tuesday, according to the official broadcast of Parliament.
He had been criticizing President Tayyip Erdogan‘s ruling AK Party (AKP) for continuing trade with Israel despite the Gaza war and the government’s harsh rhetorical condemnation of Israel’s military bombardment.
After finishing his speech, he collapsed on the floor, prompting other MPs to rush from their seats to assist.
An angiography revealed that his heart’s two main veins were completely blocked.
In the May presidential elections, the small Islamist Saadet Party joined the main opposition bloc in supporting challenger Kemal Kilicdaroglu, who defeated Erdogan.
The agreement of the alliance allowed Saadet deputies such as Bitmez to win seats in parliament by being named on the main opposition party lists.