Turkey’s leader Erdogan cancels third day of election appearances

Turkish President Recep Tayyip became ill during a TV interview with what Health Minister Fahrettin Koca later said was a ‘gastrointestinal infection’.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has cancelled his election appearances for a third day after falling ill with what officials described as an intestinal infection.

Erdogan is seeking a third presidential term in Turkey’s May 14 elections. He had been due to appear at a bridge opening and a political rally in the southern city of Adana, but his schedule changed on Friday to show he would attend the opening ceremony via video link.

Erdogan became ill during a TV interview on Tuesday with what Health Minister Fahrettin Koca later said was a “gastrointestinal infection”. His election rallies planned for Wednesday and Thursday were cancelled.

He looked pale on Thursday as he inaugurated a nuclear power plant via video in his first public appearance since his illness.

Other officials sought to dispel concerns over the 69-year-old leader’s health ahead of next month’s presidential and parliamentary elections. Recent polls showed a slight lead for Erdogan’s main challenger amid an economic downturn and a February earthquake that killed more than 50,000 people.

Erdogan, who underwent intestinal surgery in 2011, has ruled Turkey since 2003, first as prime minister and as president since 2014. He campaigned hard in recent weeks, attending several events across the country every day.

Source: News Agencies