Recovering Erdoğan to be back in couple days
ANKARA / ISTANBUL
This file photo shows Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan (R) and his wife Emine Erdoğan during an opening ceremony in Istanbul. Emine Erdoğan said the prime minister is ‘better than ever’ following a second surgery on his digestive system. Hürriyet photoPrime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is expected to return to work in Ankara later this week after a second operation over the weekend that officials described as the final phase of the intestinal surgery he began Nov. 26.
“He will be back in Ankara this week,” an aide to Erdoğan said yesterday, declining to give other details.
The prime minister’s wife, Emine Erdoğan, told reporters yesterday that his health condition was “better than ever.” “Do not worry, he is very well and sends his best wishes to you all,” she said after an opening ceremony in Istanbul. “Pray for him. We want your prayers,” she added.
When asked when her husband would be discharged from hospital, Emine Erdoğan replied, “very soon, hopefully.”
‘Second phase completed successfully’
In a written statement released Feb. 11, Erdoğan’s office said “the second and last phase of the prime minister’s digestive system operation was completed successfully, with a procedure that took about 30 minutes. The treatment was concluded as originally planned and the prime minister’s health is very good.”
The operation was performed late Feb. 10 at a hospital in Istanbul, close to where Erdoğan visited the graves of his mother and father earlier in the day. It came amid political jitters over a probe targeting Turkey’s intelligence chief Hakan Fidan, a close confidant of the prime minister. Erdoğan reportedly stayed at the hospital over the weekend.
The U.S.-based Muslim cleric Fethullah Gülen was among the well-wishers after the surgery, which coincided with growing speculation of a rift between Erdoğan and the influential Gülen community, whose support the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) has largely enjoyed.
Praising Erdoğan as a “source of pride for the nation,” Gülen said he always prayed for the prime minister and voiced hope he would return to work “with brand new dynamism,” according to a message carried on the website of the Zaman daily, which is close to the community.
Main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu said he had called Erdoğan after the surgery to extend his “get well” messages, but was not able to speak to him personally.
In a television interview last month, Erdoğan denied rumors he had cancer. He explained that doctors removed polyps from his intestines that carried the risk of developing into cancer.