A dramatic scene took place this Tuesday in the Turkish parliament when congressman Hasan Bitmez of the Islamist party Saadet (Happiness) gave a fiery speech against the State of Israel for its campaign against the terrorist group Hamas in Gaza and at the end he collapsed on the stage after suffer a heart attack.
Bitmez is a representative of the northwestern Kocaeli province of the Saadet Party, a conservative Islamist force that often pressures President Recep Erdogan to take tougher stances against the United States, Europe and Israel.
His harsh 22-minute speech criticized the government for maintaining commercial ties with Israel while the military operation to end Hamas after the massacre of last October 7 is underway.
In his speech, Bitmez complained that the “only thing that was clear from the 22 years of AKP (Erdogan’s party) rule was his eternal love for Israel” and accused him of “betraying the Palestinian cause by reaching a agreement with Israel.”
“We say that they stop transporting ammunition to Israel on ships owned and operated by the party leaders and their children,” he excitedly demanded near the end of his speech, when the president of the session asked him to finish. “You are Israel’s accomplices. You have the blood of the Palestinians on your hands, you are the collaborator. “You receive a contribution from every bomb that Israel launches against Gaza,” he accused the ruling party, before ending with a quote from the Turkish writer Sezai Karakoc: “If we remain silent, history will not be silent. The truth will not be silenced if history is silent. They think it won’t matter if he gets rid of us. But if you are one of us, you will not be free from the torment of conscience. You will not escape the torment of history. If you save yourself from the punishment of history, you will not save yourself from the wrath of God.”
At that moment, after greeting those present, he collapsed, to the astonishment of his colleagues who ran to help him and perform cardiac massages.
The 53-year-old parliamentarian, who suffers from diabetes, was taken to hospital and authorities reported that he was in critical condition.
Health Minister Fahrettin Koca said in a social media post that Bitmez had been transferred to the intensive care unit of Bilkent city hospital. Saadet President Temel Karamollaoğlu told reporters that Bitmez’s health remained in danger and asked for prayers for his recovery.