Qatar’s emir visits recovering Erdoğan
ISTANBUL / ANKARA - Hürriyet Daily News
Qatar’s ruler Al Thani (L) and Turkish PM Erdoğan are seen before their meeting.Qatar’s Emir Sheikh Hamad Bin Khalifa al-Thani paid a visit to recovering Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan at his Üsküdar home yesterday.
Al-Thani is in Istanbul to attend an international conference on innovation. The visit lasted around 80 minutes. Later in the day, Turkish Cypriot Prime Minister İrsen Küçük also paid a visit to Erdoğan.
Erdoğan had to cancel a weekend visit to Qatar and will stay at his home as he continues to recover from a Nov. 26 intestinal surgery amid lingering uncertainty in Ankara about when he will return to his office. Yesterday marked the eighth day of Erdoğan’s convalescence.
There were conflicting statements, however, on why Erdoğan would miss the U.N. Alliance of Civilizations gathering in Doha between Dec. 10 and 12 where his planned attendance had been announced by the Directorate General of Press and Information (BYEGM).
Sources close to Erdoğan played down the directorate’s statement as a routine announcement, which did not mean the prime minister had strictly scheduled the trip, saying “it was already obvious he would spend the week resting.”
One official from Erdoğan’s office, however, said the trip to Doha “was cancelled on the advice of doctors because it was a long one.” He spoke on condition of anonymity.
Sources assured Erdoğan was well but would stay home “for some more time.” A decision is expected to be made on Dec. 11 as to whether he will return to Ankara next week.
Erdoğan has already started working at home reading and signing papers and is eager to return to his office as soon as possible, the sources said.
The prime minister’s office is not planning to make a fresh statement on Erdoğan’s health. “There is nothing to worry about,” officials said, categorically dismissing speculation that he is not in good health.
The only official statement thus far was made Nov. 28, a few days after Erdoğan was operated on in Istanbul. It simply said the prime minister underwent successful laparoscopic surgery on his digestive system, without specifying what the illness was.
Few people have been allowed to see Erdoğan, although he did receive U.S. Vice President Joe Biden, who visited him at home Dec. 5. The meeting with Biden was originally scheduled for 45 minutes but continued for two hours, according to a blog of the Wall Street Journal’s Washington Bureau. Biden recounted Erdoğan’s aides kept shuttling into the room to hand him notes saying “Your doctor says stop,” the blog said.