Turkish Parliament Mourns Loss of MP Who Died After Heart Attack

An opposition Turkish lawmaker, Hasan Bitmez, passed away on Thursday, two days after collapsing in front of parliament from a heart attack. He was delivering a speech criticizing the government’s policy towards Israel. Bitmez, who was 54 years old, was a member of parliament from the opposition Felicity (Saadet) Party and died at Ankara City Hospital. He was known for his work with Islamic non-governmental organizations and had studied at Al Azhar University in Cairo. Bitmez had been critical of President Tayyip Erdogan’s ruling AK Party over Turkey’s trade with Israel, despite the ongoing war in Gaza. He accused the government of being complicit in Israel’s actions and expressed his disapproval during a parliamentary debate. After finishing his speech, Bitmez suddenly collapsed and was rushed to the hospital, where it was revealed that the main veins in his heart were completely blocked. The small Islamist Saadet Party had joined forces with the main opposition bloc in the May presidential elections, supporting challenger Kemal Kilicdaroglu against Erdogan. This alliance allowed Saadet deputies like Bitmez to win seats in parliament.