Turkish MP who had heart attack and died moments after anti-Israel speech is buried with honors

The funeral procession included two former Prime Ministers and the chairman of the ruling Islamist party.

By Ben Cohen, The Algemeiner

Dozens of Turkish dignitaries attended the funeral on Thursday afternoon of a pro-Hamas parliamentarian who collapsed and died just seconds after delivering a ferociously anti-Zionist speech in front of his fellow MPs.

The death of the MP — Hasan Bitmez of the Islamist Saadet Party — had been announced earlier by Turkey’s Health Minister, Fahrettin Koca.

Video of Bitmez collapsing at the podium on Monday a split second after he finished speaking went viral on the internet. After warning Israel that it faced “the wrath of God” while displaying a sign reading “Israel murders,” Bitmez immediately fell to the ground unconscious. Efforts by other MPs to revive him failed and he was rushed to Bilkent City Hospital in Ankara, where he died on Thursday morning after spending two days in the intensive care unit. It is understood that Bitmez, who was 54, suffered from diabetes.

Bitmez’s funeral procession began outside the Turkish parliament in front of key leaders, including former Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu and Mustafa Elitas, the deputy chairman of the ruling Islamist AKP Party of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Also present was Bitmez’s father, who demonstratively wore a Palestinian keffiyeh scarf. The coffin was wrapped in a Turkish flag that was in turn placed over a Palestinian flag, local media outlets reported.

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A vice-president of the Saadet Party, Bitmez entered parliament last May as the representative of the city of Kocaeli.

Bitmez’s last post on his X/Twitter feed on Dec. 9 criticized the Turkish government for retaining relations with Israel, comparing the country’s leaders unfavorably with the Iran-backed Houthi rebel movement in Yemen which enthusiastically supports Hamas and has attacked commercial shipping bound for Israel in the Red Sea.

“Who is a friend of ISRAEL, who is a friend of PALESTINE?” Bitmez wrote. “Are the Houthis in Yemen trying to prevent ships carrying logistics to Israel? Or is it the AKP government that still sends all kinds of materials Israel needs to Israeli ports with dozens of ships every day from Turkish ports?”

The circumstances of Bitmez’s death drew ironic amusement from pro-Israel advocates on social media, who pointed out that he collapsed less than a minute after asserting that Israel faced divine retribution.

“LOL! Turkish MP Hasan Bitmez says God will punish Israel and instantly has a heart attack,” one post remarked, while another commented, “It couldn’t have happened to a nicer guy.”