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How sick is the president? Speculation about Erdogan’s health

Updated: Aug 7, 2023

-Turkish President Erdogan is said to be in bad shape.

Recep Tayyip Erdogan hops, throws – and hits the basketball in the basket. His advisors cheer him. The scene repeats itself a few more times. It comes from a three and a half minute video that the Turkish President published on Twitter on Sunday.

The recordings, underlaid with loose music, show the 67-year-old head of state playing basketball with his advisory staff. Erdogan wrote in the tweet that he did sport three times a week. As if the sports cannon wanted to say: Look here, I’m fine!

Doctor speculates that Erdogan has epilepsy

Nevertheless, rumors persist that the Turkish president is seriously ill. There is no reliable information about the President’s health problems. In 2011 Erdogan underwent bowel surgery but denied reports of cancer. Four years ago he passed out during morning prayers in a mosque, which he explained as having temporary blood sugar problems.

In the summer of that year, Erdogan fell asleep during a video message to his followers. A few months earlier, he had to rely on his wife Emine and a bodyguard as he went down a flight of stairs. A doctor speculated on a television talk show that Erdogan had epilepsy.

Can he run again in two years?

Erdogan may no longer be able to run again in the next elections in two years. This is what Middle East expert Stephen Cook of the CFR think tank recently wrote in the influential US magazine “Foreign Policy”.

Cook recommended that western governments adapt to this development. He also wrote that Defense Minister Hulusi Akar had the best chance of becoming Erdogan’s successor.

Man of the game: President Erdogan

Shortly after Cook’s contribution to the magazine, which is read by many foreign politicians in the West, Erdogan released his basketball video to publicly demonstrate his fitness. Erdogan’s team won the training game on the grounds of the presidential palace in Ankara by 50 to 24, wrote pro-government media afterwards. The most successful shooter in the game? President Erdogan, he threw 27 points.

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