Politican in Erdoğan’s ruling party dies from COVID-19

Burhan Kuzu, a former member of parliament from Turkey’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) and an advisor to President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, has died from the coronavirus.

Kuzu had been receiving treatment for COVID-19 since Oct. 17, Turkish Health Minister Fahrettin Koca said on Twitter.

He passed away early Sunday.

In early March, the 65-year-old politician had downplayed the impact of the pandemic, saying that the deadly virus was an exaggeration of social media as he compared its effects to those of EBOLA, SARS and the H1N1 swine flu.

On Saturday, two senior Turkish government officials, Erdoğan's spokesman Ibrahim Kalın and Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu, announced that they had contracted COVID-19. Soylu has since been hospitalised.