A Turkish lawmaker, who suffered a heart attack on the floor of parliament immediately after he gave a speech saying Israel would ‘not be able to escape the wrath of God’ for its war in Gaza, has died.
Hasan Bitmez, 53, a member of parliament from the Islamist Saadet Partisi, or Felicity Party, died Thursday at the Ankara City Hospital, Health Minister Fahrettin Koca announced. The death came days after Bitmez collapsed at the Turkish Grand National Assembly on Tuesday immediately after criticizing the Turkish government’s policy regarding the Israel-Hamas war.
In a translated version of his speech on Tuesday, Bitmez said, ‘Even if history remains silent, the truth will not remain silent. They think that if they get rid of us, there will be no problem. However, if you get rid of us, you will not be able to escape the torment of conscience. Even if you escape the torment of history, you will not be able to escape the wrath of God.’
He then turned and fainted, hitting his head on what appeared to be a marble floor, prompting fellow legislators in the hall to assist him. Bitmez was then rushed to the hospital in ‘extremely serious and critical’ condition. He later died.
A small ceremony was held for Bitmez on the grounds of the parliament building on Thursday. A small Palestinian flag was attached to his coffin alongside the Turkish flag.
Bitmez’s Felicity Party joined an opposition alliance that failed to topple Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in the May presidential election.
On Tuesday, the legislator was repeatedly critical of Turkey’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Israel. Additionally, on Tuesday, Bitmez accused Erdogan’s ruling Justice and Development Party (officially abbreviated as AK Party or AKP) of continuing to engage in trade with Israel.
During his speech, he was seen holding a sign that read, ‘Murderer Israel, Collaborator AKP.’
He ended his remarks by reading from a poem that ended with a reference to ‘the wrath of God.’
The BBC reported that Bitmez was given first aid after he collapsed, which included CPR, before he was taken to the hospital.
According to the report, Bitmez was a diabetic and had two heart stents.
Fox News’ Greg Wehner and The Associated Press contributed to this report.