Turkey's Erdogan cancels election appearances for a third day

The Turkish president fell ill during a television interview on Tuesday evening

Recep Tayyip Erdogan last week at an election rally in Istanbul, Turkey. AP
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Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan cancelled his election appearances for a third day on Friday after falling ill with what officials described as an intestinal infection.

Mr Erdogan, who has ruled Turkey for two decades as prime minister and then president, is seeking a third presidential term in elections next month.

He had been due to appear at a bridge opening and a political rally in the southern city of Adana, but his schedule was changed to show he would attend the opening ceremony via video link.

Mr Erdogan became ill during a television interview on Tuesday evening 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 when he inaugurated a nuclear power plant via video link in his first public appearance since his illness.

Officials have sought to dispel concerns over the health of the 69-year-old leader, who underwent intestinal surgery in 2011.

He has campaigned hard in recent weeks, attending several events across the country every day, ahead of presidential and parliamentary elections on May 14.

Recent polls showed a slight lead for Mr Erdogan’s main challenger during an economic downturn and in the aftermath of an earthquake in February that killed more than 50,000 people.

Updated: April 28, 2023, 8:08 AM