Erdogan ‘heart attack’ rumours as he’s forced off air during TV interview with ‘illness’ hours before Putin meeting

TURKISH President Recep Tayyip Erdogan sparked rumours he suffered a heart attack as he was forced off a live TV broadcast.

The 69-year-old has also cancelled a string of campaign rallies hours before he is set to meet with Vladimir Putin.

Recep Tayyip Erdogan sparked rumours of a heart attack as a live interview cut out


Recep Tayyip Erdogan sparked rumours of a heart attack as a live interview cut out
Erdogan pictured with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin


Erdogan pictured with his Russian counterpart Vladimir PutinCredit: Getty

A live TV interview with Erdogan started 90 minutes behind schedule on Tuesday – and after 10 minutes suddenly cut to an advert break in the middle of a question.

As the live stream halted, an unidentified voice could be heard saying: “Oh wow”.

Reports the Turkish leader had suffered a heart attack and was hospitalised were dismissed by authorities.

Erdogan later returned to the broadcast, insisting he had developed a stomach illness on the campaign trail.

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He said: “Yesterday and today were hard work.

“That’s why I got a stomach flu.

“I ask for your and our audience’s forgiveness.”

Erdogan then scrapped scheduled campaign rallies on Wednesday and Thursday, saying he would instead “rest at home on doctor’s advice”.

It comes as Putin is set to attend the inauguration of Turkey’s first nuclear power reactor via video link today.

The power plant was built by Russia’s state nuclear energy company Rosatom after the project began in 2010 with an inter-governmental agreement between Ankara and Moscow.

Ergodan will also join the meeting via video link as he rests at home.

The Kremlin was forced to deny reports Putin was planning to visit Turkey after Erdogan suggested he may make the trip.

In comments aired on private broadcaster ATV last month, he said: “Maybe there is a possibility that Mr Putin will come on April 27, or we may connect to the inauguration ceremony online and we will take the first step in Akkuyu.”

Nato member Turkey had close relations with both Russia and Ukraine – and has attempted to balance ties during the war.

Erdogan and Putin met several times last year and Turkey has refused to acknowledge Western sanctions against Russia.

The two countries cooperate closely on energy supplies while being at odds over Syria, Libya and Azerbaijan.

And Turkey has also criticised the invasion and supplied Kyiv with armed drones.

Last year, Erdogan left Putin waiting almost a minute ahead of their sit down in Tehran.

After slowly striding into the room, the tyrant seemed to become unsteady on his feet within just a matter of seconds.

He awkwardly shifted his weight while battling to keep composure as a crowd of photographers focused on the loitering Russian leader.

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Unpunctual Putin regularly keeps his Western counterparts waiting before meetings, in a bid to intimidate other world leaders.

Yet Erdogan managed to put him in his place before their encounter – with some suggesting it may have been payback.

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