President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan attended videoconference for Akkuyu Nuclear Power Plant inauguration ceremony on April 27, after falling ill during a television interview on April 27 and cancelled his election programs, which prompted allegations that he had serious health issues.
Ankara on April 27 responded rumors over Erdoğan’s health issues especially the one alleged that he has suffered from a heart attack; an allegation that was circulated in the social media.
Turkish Health Minister Fahrettin Koca stated on April 27 that President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has been suffering from “gastroenteritis” an intestinal infection and his health condition is “well” adding that he will return his election program “as soon as possible.”
“I was with him this morning. He has been sending his good wishes to all of you. His health condition is very well. The effect of the gastroenterit infection is subsided, and he will be returning his program as soon as possible,” Koca said in Konya district on April 27, at a health facility opening ceremony.
On the night of April 25, during a live broadcast, Erdoğan has fallen ill and the program was interrupted. Little after a 20-minute break, Erdoğan, who looked very tired on the screen, said that he could not continue the broadcast with the explanation that he had a “serious cold” in his stomach. Following the TV show, Erdoğan has cancelled his election programs for two days, including critical Akkuyu Nuclear Power Station inauguration ceremony where he will be present online.
The official statements indicated that he has been suffering with an upset stomach, and he will return his programs as soon as possible.
On April 30, Erdoğan is scheduled to take to the rally stage in capital Ankara, a key rally two weeks before May 14 elections.
The inauguration of the Akkuyu Nuclear Power Plant developed by Russia, is known as an important pre-election event for the AKP government and Erdoğan. The contentious plant project of four reactors at the site on the Mediterranean has been branded as Türkiye’s first nuclear power plant by Erdoğan and the AKP.
Rumors about “hearth attack”
Following the cancellations, rumors that he was hospitalised after a hearth attack started to be circulated through social media accounts.
First Vice President stated that the President’s health condition is “well” and he is suffering from a “mild cold.”
Then, Türkiye Presidency Communications Director Fahrettin Altun issued a statement on his social media account on April 26, denying the rumors.
“We categorically reject such baseless claims regarding President Erdoğan’s health. The President will attend tomorrow’s nuclear power plant opening via videoconference. No amount of disinformation can dispute the fact that the Turkish people stand with their leader and Erdoğan, and his AK Party are set to win the May 14 elections,” he stated.
We categorically reject such baseless claims regarding President @RTErdogan’s health.
The President will attend tomorrow’s nuclear power plant opening via videoconference.
No amount of disinformation can dispute the fact that the Turkish people stand with their leader and… pic.twitter.com/SSr3KaWXlS
— Fahrettin Altun (@fahrettinaltun) April 26, 2023
Before critical elections
Türkiye is set to hold critical elections on May 14 when the country will elect its new president and parliamentary members. Criticising the current state of democracy in the country, the opposition pledges to change the “presidential governmental system” which they argue that brought about a “one man regime.”
Erdoğan faces the biggest challenge of his political career since for the first time in 20 years of his rule, his opponent CHP leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu catched his popularity in the polls.
The polls still suggest a head-to-head race, both in parliamentary and presidential elections.