President Erdogan appears virtually with Russia’s Putin after health issues

Turkish President and Leader of the Justice and Development (AK) Party, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, speaks during the unveiling of the AK Party’s Election Manifesto in Ankara, Turkey on April 11, 2023. — AFP

Amid his illness and absence for two days from the media, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan appeared Thursday and participated in a virtual ceremony with Russian President Vladimir Putin unveiling a Russian-built nuclear power plant, reported AFP.

Erdogan cancelled all his schedules regarding election campaigns that are to be held on May 14 after he abruptly departed from his live TV interview late Tuesday, saying “he felt sick with an upset stomach”.

Erdogan, 69, was to appear in rallies on Wednesday and Thursday as he campaigns for the country’s presidential and parliamentary elections.

He wrote on his Twitter account: “Today, I will rest at home with the advice of my doctors.”

AK Party deputy chairperson Erkan Kandemir later said that President Erdogan would attend a ceremony at the Akkuyu nuclear power plant in the southern Mersin province via video link on Thursday.

On Twitter, he said: “Our Mersin rally is also planned to be held on a future date.”

Health Minister Fehrettin Koca said Thursday: Erdogan had infectious gastroenteritis — a short-term illness caused by the inflammation of the digestive tract.

Citing his health, Erdogan cancelled events on Wednesday and said to stay at home instead of heading to the Mediterranean coast for the opening ceremony of the country’s first nuclear power plant.

Erdogan during the video appeared frail as he addressed Russian President Putin and the nation from his presidential desk.

Erdogan said in his remarks: “Our country has risen to the League of Nations with nuclear power, albeit after a 60-year delay.”

People are with strong Erdogan

According to the polls, Erdogan may lose against his opposition leader Kemal Kilicdaroglu in Turkey’s most crucial elections in decades.

His rule by an alliance with a far-right group is also under threat.

During his rallies, the Turkish President projects himself as the only person capable of doing the job and carries out attacks on the opposition.

However, apparently, this has been shaken and his office is trying to assure people that he is still the same.

Erdogan’s media director Fahrettin Altun posted screenshots on Twitter of Chinese state media and other popular accounts which show the President is very ill.

Altun wrote: “We categorically reject such baseless claims regarding President Erdogan’s health.”

“No amount of disinformation can dispute the fact that the Turkish people stand with their leader and Erdogan and his AK Party are set to win the May 14 elections,” Altun added.

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