Turkish PM’s change of schedule fuels rumors
ANKARAConsecutive changes to Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s itinerary regarding his election campaign have raised questions in Ankara, with many wondering if damaging corruption claims are beginning to hamper his work on the hustings.
Although officials speaking on the condition of anonymity gave explanations for the changes, the timing drew attention because they came after a series of audio recordings that suggest Erdoğan himself and his immediate family are involved in the scandal.
Erdoğan was scheduled to attend a rally in Eskişehir on March 1. However, it was reportedly replaced with a rally in Kırklareli. Erdoğan also postponed a rally to be held in Mersin on March 2.
The ruling Justice and Development Party’s (AKP) provincial chair in Mersin announced that any cancellation was out of the question and the rally in Mersin would be held March 13.
Such changes in the itinerary led to rumors in social media suggesting that the prime minister has been placed in intensive care. Nonetheless, he did not change his itinerary for yesterday. As planned, he held a rally in Burdur and was set to proceed to nearby Uşak for another.
On Feb. 25, Erdoğan canceled a scheduled meeting of the Defense Industry Executive Committee. CNNTürk quoted sources from the prime minister’s office as saying that the reason for the cancellation was Erdoğan’s demand for rest.