Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has cancelled election campaign events for the past three days due to illness. On Saturday, the head of state was back in the melee.
Many have speculated on Erdogan’s health situation, after he cancelled all public appearances for several days. There has been talk about whether his health could become a factor in the presidential election this May.
But now he is suddenly back.
Several Turkish TV channels showed pictures of the 69-year-old during an event in Istanbul on Saturday morning. Smiling and wearing a red windbreaker, the 69-year-old took to the stage at an aviation festival and began tossing out flowers to flag-waving supporters in the crowd.
Everything is apparently ok with Erdogan.
NTB-AFP reports on the case on Saturday morning.
Beside was his close ally, Azerbaijan’s President Ilham Aliyev and Libya’s Prime Minister Abdelhamid Dbeibah. Both countries have fought wars using Turkey’s now well-known combat drones.
Erdogan fell ill during a TV interview on Tuesday with what Health Minister Fahrettin Koca later said was a stomach infection. In other words, nothing serious.
Up to Saturday, he had run his election campaign digitally, including unveiling a nuclear power plant via video link on Thursday in an obviously distracted and tired state.
The 69-year-old, who has led Turkey for 20 years, is seeking re-election to a third presidential term in the May 14 election. In the election, he faces tough competition from opposition candidate Kemal Kilicdaroglu.
Additionally, several parties in the opposition have rallied around Kemal Kilicdaroglu as a joint opponent to Erdogan, making the election open and exciting. The two candidates are quite similar in terms of public support.
The election campaign has been intense, with Erdogan attending around three events per day.
Many expect, and fear, that Erdogan with all of his resources and experience will manage to win the election, one way or another. But hope lives for the opposition.