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Erdoğan attends virtual ceremony with Putin amid health speculations



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Tayyip Erdoğan

ISTANBUL- Amid speculations about his health, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on Thursday briefly appeared in a SEE conference attended by Russian President Vladimir Putin.

The two leaders addressed a ceremony to mark the delivery of nuclear fuel to the first power unit at Turkey’s Akkuyu plant.

The 20-billion-dollar facility was built by Russia’s Rosatom in Mersin, southern Turkey.

The loading of the first fuel is the final step before Turkey starts nuclear power production, Erdoğan said, calling the step a strategic investment to reduce the country’s energy dependency.

The plant is scheduled to be put into service gradually until 2028, to provide 10 per cent of Turkish electricity consumption, according to the pale-looking Turkish leader.

Putin lauded Erdoğan’s role in realising what he called one of the largest joint Turkish-Russian projects.

Late on Tuesday, the 69-year-old Turkish president, had to interrupt a live TV interview due to a stomach upset.

Erdoğan then cancelled Election rallies for two days in a row.

The president is well and resting, Health Minister Fahrettin Koca said.

It was not immediately clear when Erdoğan would resume his campaign for Turkey’s May 14 presidential and parliamentary elections.

Putin and Erdoğan also discussed the Ukraine war and the Black Sea grain deal in a phone call prior to Thursday’s ceremony, Erdoğan’s office said.(dpa/NAN)




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