Turkish President, Recep Tayyip Erdogancanceled his electoral program of the last two days for health reasons, after unexpectedly and briefly interrupting a live televised interview.
The domineering 69-year-old Turkish leader has been on leave since feeling unwell while conducting a live television interview on Tuesday night, at one of the most vulnerable moments of his two decades in rule.
Erdogan had been doing campaign tirelessly to achieve one of his typical narrow victories in the parliamentary and presidential elections on May 14.
However, during the interview it was shown decayed and interrupted her in the middle of a question 10 minutes into the start.
The camera shook and the screen went blank before going into an ad break. Before the brief cut of the broadcast, the viewers heard how people who were in the environment of the president exclaimed “Oh no!”.
Erdogan returned about 15 minutes later and apologized for being ill.
He said he had contracted a “stomach flu” while traveling between five cities to give campaign rallies and present public projects on Monday and Tuesday.
The Minister of Health, Derya Yaniktold Turkish television on Thursday that Erdogan was recovering.
“There is nothing to worry about. It’s okay,” she stated. “He will resume his intense program tomorrow, I think.”
Call with Putin
This Thursday Erdogan tried to compensate for his absence from the electoral campaign by inaugurating by videoconference a nuclear power plant built by Russia.
In his attempt to project health and vigour, he also spoke with the Russian President, Vladimir Putinwhom he thanked for the plant.
During the act, his office shared the first photo in two days of the president in his office and surrounded by advisers.
Erdogan’s long-awaited videoconference connection with Putin unveiled a project Russia began building in 2018.
The construction of the plant Akkuyuon the southern coast of Turkey, has been complicated by Western sanctions on Russia over its invasion of Ukraine.
Erdogan has been one of the few world leaders who has maintained good relations with Putinrefusing to subscribe to Western sanctions on Russia and attempting to mediate to end the war.
But health scare has disrupted Erdogan’s travel schedule and complicated his path to a third decade of government.
Erdogan is known for his fondness for campaigning and for embracing political struggles.
The surveys place him on par with or losing to opposition leader Kemal Kilicdaroglu, in the most momentous elections of Türkiye in decades, if not of its entire post-Ottoman history.
Kiliçdaroglu leads the polls with 47.5 percent of voting intentions, an advantage of more than three points compared to Erdogan’s 44.4 percent.
If none of them exceeds 50 percent on May 14, voters must return to the polls two weeks later to elect their president in a second round.
He parliamentary control of his party, with Islamic roots, through an alliance with an extreme right-wing group, is also threatened.
Erdogan had used his campaign speeches to launch poisonous barbs against the opposition and present yourself as a man who does the job.
That image has been shaken, and his office is fighting back.
The president’s powerful media director, Fahrettin Altunposted on Twitter screenshots of Chinese state media and some popular accounts speculating that Erdogan had suffered a heart attack and his condition was more serious than officially reported.
“We categorically reject such baseless claims about the health of President Erdogan,” Altun wrote.
“None amount of misinformation You can discuss the fact that the Turkish people stand with their leader and Erdogan and his AK Party are ready to win the May 14 elections.”
Rumors about Erdogan’s health have swirled since he underwent two gastrointestinal operations in 2011 and 2012.
The operations went well, but they left him a slight discomfort which seems to have fueled some of the speculation on social media.
Türkiye does not publish the results of the medical examinations of its leaders and considers illegal to “insult the president.”
Thousands of people have been prosecuted for this crime, punishable by a fine or a prison sentence of up to four years.
Turkey’s top opposition leaders quickly tweeted messages wishing Erdogan a speedy recovery.
An interview of the president this Thursday night jointly with several large Turkish broadcasters has been cancelled, the Turkish daily reports. cumhuriyet.
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