Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan canceled his visit, which was scheduled for today, to the Akkuyu nuclear plant to attend its opening, and he will attend the opening via video conference.
According to agencies, Erdogan also canceled his participation in a special joint direct meeting with several Turkish channels that were scheduled for this evening, namely “Euro D”, “ATV Europe”, “NTV Europe”, and “TRT World”.
Health is controversial
President Erdogan’s health over the past few days has sparked much speculation, and his spokesman has been forced to vigorously deny the health of the 69-year-old president, who has been in power for two decades and is seeking re-election next month.
And the head of the communication department in the Turkish presidency, Fakhruddin Altun, posted a tweet on Twitter on Wednesday night / Thursday, in which he said, “We categorically reject such baseless allegations regarding the president about his health.”
Altun’s post contained images of several tweets claiming that Erdogan had had a heart attack and was in hospital.
Altun said the president will attend the inauguration of the Akkuyu Nuclear Power Plant in Turkey via video link today, Thursday, as scheduled.
For his part, Vice President Fuat Oktay stated that Erdogan is doing well, according to the state-run Anadolu news agency. He added, “We are in constant contact. He had a slight cold.”
Speculation has been mounting about Erdogan’s health since Wednesday, after he canceled campaign rallies due to a “slight malaise”.
Erdogan said, via Twitter, “I will go to rest at home today (Wednesday) as advised by our doctors,” referring to the health problems he suffered from on Tuesday. Erdogan said he would resume the campaign on Thursday. Erdogan was scheduled to deliver election speeches in 3 separate central Anatolian provinces on Wednesday.
Late Tuesday, he was forced to briefly cut short a live television interview after suffering what he later described as an upset stomach. After cutting off the live broadcast for 15 minutes, Erdogan returned, his face tired and his eyes watering during his speech.
Canal 7 cut off the broadcast after Erdogan failed to answer a question about his election promises. Some muffled voices were heard from the microphone, but the cameras did not show Erdoğan. The interviewer paused as a worried voice was heard in the background saying, “What a pity!”
Elections in the middle of a crisis
The parliamentary and presidential elections scheduled for May 14 represent the biggest electoral challenge to Erdogan, the longest-serving ruler in Turkey’s modern history, after the cost of living crisis and growing resentment towards the millions of Syrian refugees in the country affected his popularity.