Turkish MP accused AKP government of being ‘Israel’s accomplice’ moments before suffering a heart attack

An MP from the religious Felicity [‘Saadet’] Party has passed away two days after suffering a heart attack in the Turkish Parliament on Tuesday.

Hasan Bitmez, 53, gave a blistering 20-minute speech in the Grand National Assembly where he fiercely criticised the Turkish government for maintaining normal economic relations with Israel while it massacred civilians in Gaza.

“You allow ships to go to Israel, and you shamelessly call it trade. … You are Israel’s accomplice,” said Bitmez during a debate over the Turkish Foreign Ministry’s 2024 budget.

“You have the blood of Palestinians on your hands, you are collaborators. You contribute to every bomb Israel drops on Gaza,” Bitmez told lawmakers.

The opposition MP concluded his speech by saying, “Even if you escape the torment of history, you will not be able to escape the wrath of God.”

He also displayed a provocative poster on the podium, which read: “Murderer Israel; collaborator AKP.”

MPs from the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) responded by banging on their tables and jeering Bitmez.

Undeterred by the raucous response from AKP politicians, the Saadet politician graciously saluted all MPs in the room, before collapsing as he turned to walk away from the podium.

His Parliamentary colleagues, among them several qualified doctors, rushed to his aid, helping to resuscitate him.

Bitmez was immediately taken to Bilkent City Hospital where he seemed to be stable for the first 24 hours. However, his condition deteriorated on Wednesday evening.

The MP’s death on Thursday, 14 December, was confirmed by the Turkish Health Minister Fahrettin Koca.

Bitmez’s coffin was brought to the Grand National Assembly on Thursday, where MPs paid their respects ahead of his funeral. The coffin was draped with a Turkish flag and a smaller Palestinian flag.

A pious Muslim and married father of one, Bitmez had graduated from Cairo’s Al-Azhar University. He had worked for Islamic nongovernmental groups and was chairman of the Centre for Islamic Union Research prior to becoming elected as an MP for Kocaeli earlier this year.