A Turkish journalist who denied the existence of COVID-19 and opposed vaccinations for it recently has died of the virus, Turkish media outlets reported on Monday.
Erol Kes, owner of the Son Nokta news website, based in the western province of Denizli, had been posting messages against the COVID-19 vaccination on Twitter. “I don’t believe in the existence of COVID, and I don’t believe the test results, either,” he said.
An anti-vaxxer, Kes argued on social media that the novel coronavirus was a sham and that the vaccination against it was a hoax.
“Erol Kes, who had worked as a journalist in Denizli for many years, has recently contracted the coronavirus. Upon deterioration of his health on September 10, he was taken to intensive care. Today, we received news of his death,” wrote Denizli Son Nokta.
The growing anti-vaccine sentiment in Turkey culminated in a gathering in İstanbul on Sept. 11 with the participation pro-government figures and even physicians.
The anti-vaccination group in Turkey refers to the coronavirus pandemic as a “plan-demic,” suggesting that there is a secret plan behind the pandemic.
As of Sunday, Turkey had administered around 105.1 million vaccines against COVID-19, with some 52.7 million people receiving one dose, about 42 million receiving two doses and 9.8 million receiving a third, according to Health Ministry data.