Professor of Internal Medicine Cemil Tascioglu, also known as "the teacher of teachers" passed away on Wednesday from the coronavirus, marking the first pandemic-induced death among Turkish health professionals.

Turkish doctor Cemil Tascioglu died at the age of 68 on Wednesday after contracting the deadly coronavirus from one of his patients.

Tascioglu was a professor of internal medicine at Istanbul University. He was among the first batch of doctors who began treating coronavirus patients in Turkey and on March 16 he became the first positive case in the medical fraternity. 

Tascioglu was taken to the intensive care unit on March 18 after his condition worsened and he was connected to respiratory equipment.

As the country mourned the doctor's death, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan expressed his condolences to his friends and family.

Born in Turkey’s northeastern city of Rize in 1952, Tascioglu graduated from Istanbul University’s Medicine Department in the late 1970s and began working in Sanliurfa as a certified doctor. 

In later years, he returned to Istanbul University Faculty of Medicine where he received the title of Internal Medicine Specialist and was then promoted to the post of Associate Professor and eventually a full-time professor.

He became popular among his students and patients and earned a title —  "the teacher of teachers".

One of his close colleagues described him as "a great plane tree that everybody loved from his assistants to students".

Tascioglu continued to practise medicine even though he had long passed retirement age. 

He examined patients and also continued teaching students at Istanbul Medical Faculty.

He was known to have gained academic authority over medical subjects like the Vertical Corridor 2, Semiology and Medical Skills Laboratory 2. He also wrote articles for various scientific journals and authored two well-received books titled ‘Internal Diseases Case Studies’ and ‘Clinician's Internal Diseases Guide - Practical Life’.

Tascioglu, whose works were quoted numerous times by other academicians, was married and had three children.

The coronavirus death toll in Turkey has jumped to 277, with 15,679 cases confirmed so far.

After originating in China last December, the virus, also known as Covid-19, has spread to at least 180 countries, with its epicentre shifting to Europe.

The virus has killed more than 46,200 people and infected over 921,900 globally, with more than192,900 people recovering from the disease, according to figures collated by the US-based Johns Hopkins University.

Source: TRTWorld and agencies