On Tuesday, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s interview with local broadcasters was unexpectedly interrupted when the leader suddenly fell ill during the live event. It was later reported that Erdogan had been suffering from stomach flu, also known as gastroenteritis. The interview, which began late due to the president’s busy election campaign, was abruptly halted when a journalist began to ask a question about potential cabinet reshuffles. This unexpected pause momentarily raised concerns on social media.
The interruption occurred after only two short questions, and a moderator quickly announced that the interview was being cut short to “allow Mr. President to rest.” Shortly after the event, Erdogan issued an apology for the setback, explaining that he had caught a stomach bug due to the demanding election schedule and had to cancel scheduled trips to several cities on Wednesday, citing doctors’ advice.
Despite the interruption, Turkish presidential spokesman Ibrahim Kalin later reassured the public that Erdogan was “in good health, thank God.”
The upcoming presidential and parliamentary elections on May 14 are expected to be challenging for Erdogan and his ruling Justice and Development Party, largely due to the devastating earthquakes that struck the country in February, causing significant damage and loss of life.
Erdogan’s main opponent in the elections is Kemal Kilicdaroglu, who was put forward by a six-party opposition alliance. However, pre-election polls have yet to reveal an unquestionable favorite in the race, with other presidential candidates such as Muharrem Ince and Sinan Ogan also in the running.
Erdogan’s sudden illness is undoubtedly an unfortunate setback for his presidential campaign. As the elections draw closer and the competition intensifies, any negative publicity or missed opportunities could prove costly for Erdogan and his ruling party. However, it remains to be seen how this incident will impact the election’s outcome and whether Erdogan will be able to regain the momentum lost due to his illness.
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