Erdogan cancels appearances due to stomach bug
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan had to cancel his scheduled appearances yesterday as well as today, as he suffered from a stomach bug, less than three weeks ahead of Turkey‘s critical election. This news came amid a heated campaign, as many consider the upcoming election to be the most significant in Turkey’s post-Ottoman history.
Erdogan, aged 69, had three events planned in the central Anatolian provinces yesterday. However, he had to change plans, and Vice President Fuat Oktay would step in on his behalf. Erdogan said on Twitter…
“Today I will rest at home under the advice of our doctors. With God’s permission, we will continue our program from tomorrow.”
Erkan Kandemir, vice-president of the ruling AKP party, later revealed that Erdogan had also cancelled his today schedule. The president was initially expected to inaugurate Turkey’s first nuclear power station located in Akkuyu, on the southern coast. The opening of the Russian-built plant was supposed to be the main event of Erdogan’s campaign this week.
As Erdogan faces a dip in polls, he has been working relentlessly to turn the situation around, maintaining his election-winning streak spanning two decades. He faces stiff competition from secular opposition leader Kemal Kilicdaroglu while dealing with an economic crisis and the aftermath of a significant earthquake in February that claimed over 50,000 lives.
The problems began when Erdogan was forced to end a live television interview on Tuesday after falling ill on air. The appearance, which started more than 90 minutes late, was suddenly interrupted just 10 minutes into the Q&A conversation. Moments after the abrupt ending, Erdogan returned to apologize for his ailment. He said…
“Yesterday and today were hard work. That’s why I got a stomach flu. At one point, I wondered if it would be misunderstood if we cancelled the programme. But we promised. I ask for your and our audience’s forgiveness.”
Looking pale, Erdogan concluded the interview a few minutes later. Though the president underwent gastrointestinal surgery in 2012, he has generally maintained good health. Turkey’s 74 year old opposition leader Kilicdaroglu, along with nationalist leader Meral Aksener and other leading members of Kilicdaroglu’s six-party opposition alliance, extended their best wishes for Erdogan’s speedy recovery via Twitter, reports Bangkok Post.
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