Turkish president cancels campaign stops over health issue

AP , Wednesday 26 Apr 2023

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced he was canceling a day of election campaigning on Wednesday to rest at home, a day after he was forced to briefly interrupt a television interview over a stomach complaint.

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Pedestrians walk past billboards showing the portrait of Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan and a slogan reading For Turkey s century the right time, the right man on a building ahead of the May 14 presidential and parliamentary elections, in Ankara, on April 20, 2023. ( AFP)

 

Erdogan was being interviewed live by Turkey’s Ulke TV and Kanal 7 stations late on Tuesday when the program was suddenly stopped. When the interview resumed around 20 minutes later, Erdogan, 69, explained that he had developed a serious “stomach flu” while campaigning and apologized for the interruption.

The president, who was scheduled to make a series of appearances in the cities of Kirikkale, Yozgat and Sivas on Wednesday, announced on Twitter that he would rest at home on the advice of his doctors and that Vice President Fuat Oktay would represent him at the events.

He would resume his duties on Thursday, he tweeted.

Erdogan, who is seeking a third term in office as president, has been campaigning hard in the run up to the May 14 presidential and parliamentary elections, sometimes attending three or more events per day.

He is facing his toughest electoral test of his 20-years in office as prime minister and president, with opinion surveys showing a slight lead for his main challenger, center-left opposition party leader Kemal Kilicdaroglu.

In 2011, Erdogan underwent what his doctors said was a successful surgery on his digestive system.

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