Turkish politician in Erdogan’s party dies from virus

International

Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, right, wearing a mask to help protect against the spread of coronavirus, greets his ruling party members gathered in a stadium, in Kayseri, Turkey, Saturday, Oct. 24, 2020. Turkey’s Health Minister Fahrettin Koca said Friday COVID-19 infections were on the rise across the country and 40 percent of cases were in Istanbul, Turkey’s most populous city with more than 15 million people.(Turkish Presidency via AP, Pool)

ISTANBUL (AP) — A Turkish politician from President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s ruling party has died from the coronavirus.

Burhan Kuzu, 65, had been receiving treatment for COVID-19 since Oct. 17, the country’s health minister tweeted. He passed away Sunday.

A constitutional lawyer and a founding member of the governing Justice and Development Party, Kuzu served in parliament four times.

Two senior officials close to Turkey’s leader — presidential spokesman Ibrahim Kalin and Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu — tweeted on Saturday that they had contracted COVID-19. Both said they were doing well. Soylu was in a hospital.

The latest Health Ministry statistics show at least 10,252 people have died from COVID-19 in Turkey. Some health experts say the government is downplaying the extent of the country’s outbreak in the way it counts cases.

Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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