Ex-premier Mesut Yılmaz passes away at age 73
ISTANBUL- Anadolu Agency
Florence Nightingale Hospital’s Chief Physician Özgür Şamilgil announced the demise of Yılmaz, who was suffering from lung cancer for the past few years.
Yilmaz also underwent brain surgery on May 5, after which his condition was said to be stable by the doctors.
Yılmaz, a former chairperson of the Motherland Party (ANAP), was appointed as prime minister three times between 1991 and 1999, serving as premier for a period of two years in total.
Due to his acrimonious relationship with Tansu Çiller, the leader of the center-right Doğru Yol Party (DYP) and his coalition partner, the ANAP party was worn out and failed to come to power alone.
He resigned from the presidency of ANAP when the party failed to pass the 10 percent national threshold needed for a political party to have a seat in the parliament in the election in November 2002.
In the 2007 elections, he was elected as an independent member of parliament.
Born in 1947, the former prime minister was married with two children, one of whom died in 2017.
Yılmaz was also known as a passionate Galatasaray supporter.
Many Turkish leaders and politicians expressed grief and condolences over the loss of the former premier.
In a speech, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said: "I extend my condolences to all his family, and especially his wife. May Allah forgive his sins, and my condolences to our nation."
Vice President Fuat Oktay said on social media: "I have learned about the passing of the esteemed Mesut Yılmaz, one of our former prime ministers. May Allah’s mercy and grace be on the late Mesut Yilmaz. I extend my condolences to
his family and to all the people who loved him."
"I learned of the passing of Mesut Yilmaz, our former prime minister and former chairman of the Anavatan Party, with the greatest grief," Ibrahim Kalın, Turkey’s presidential spokesman, wrote on Twitter.
"I wish Allah’s mercy and grace upon him and extend my condolences to his family and the Turkish people."
Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu said on Twitter, “I learned of the passing of our former foreign minister and one of our prime ministers with great sadness. May Allah’s mercy and grace be upon him, may he rest in peace. I extend my condolences to his family."
Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, leader of the Republican People's Party (CHP), said: “I felt great sadness to hear of the passing of one of our former prime ministers, eminent politician and statesman Mesut Yılmaz. I wish Allah’s mercy and grace upon him, and forbearance for his family. Deepest condolences to his family and our nation.”
Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu wrote: “We learned of the passing of our former Prime Minister Mesut Yılmaz with deep sorrow. May Allah’s grace be upon him. My condolences to his family and our nation.”
“I extend my condolences to his wife Berna Yılmaz, his family, and to all his loved ones. May he rest in peace,” said Communication Director Fahrettin Altun.
Expressing his condolences, Ersin Tatar, president of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyrus (TRNC), said: “May Allah’s grace be on Yilmaz, who made significant contributions to Turkey and did important work to protect our rights on Cyprus.”
Former Prime Minister Tansu Çiller wrote: “Our country has lost a former prime minister of the parliamentary system. We went through the difficulties of the instability brought to our country by the fragmentation of the center-right, which was divided by coups. May he rest in peace.” She went onto express her condolences to his family and the Turkish people.