Turkish politician in Erdogan’s party dies from virus

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.

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