The Turkish president extended his condolences over the death of Markar Esayan, a lawmaker of the ruling Justice and Development (AK) Party.

“I have learned with great sorrow of the demise of my brother Markar Esayan. I extend my condolences to his family and the ones who loved him,” Erdogan said on Twitter following the death of Esayan at age 51 on Friday.

“We will never forget his contributions to our country’s politics and democracy.”

Esayan was a former journalist and became a member of parliament representing Istanbul for the AK Party in 2015.

He is the author of five books that were published from 2005-2015.

The Turkish top diplomat also offered his condolences over Esayan’s death.

“A great person, our beloved Istanbul deputy Markar Esayan passed away. I share his mournful family’s pain and extend my condolences,” Mevlut Cavusoglu tweeted.

Meanwhile, Sahak Mashalian, the head of the Armenian Patriarchate in Istanbul, sympathized with the Turkish president in a letter sent to Erdogan.

“We prayed for his well-being throughout his malady. However, upon the God’s will, we will pray for the well-being of his soul,” Mashalian said.

Esayan died at hospital after he was taken under intensive care Friday morning due to difficulty in breathing, according to the chief physician of the hospital.

He had a fatal stomach disease for which he had been receiving treatment for one and a half years.

*Writing by Dilan Pamuk in Ankara

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