Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has been receiving medical advice from an Israeli doctor in recent months, Ynet revealed in a report on Thursday.
The doctor is Prof. Itzchak Shapira, Deputy Director-General of Ichilov Hospital in Tel Aviv, who is responsible, among other things, for the hospital’s medical tourism.
Shapira regularly provides medical advice for international leaders. According to Ynet, the fact that Shapira is a cardiologist may imply that Erdogan is dealing with cardiac issues, but it’s also possible that Shapira is advising him in other areas.
Ichilov Hospital and Prof. Shapira refused to comment on the report.
Rumors have been flying in recent months that Erdogan is suffering from poor health, although this has never been confirmed by any source. In November, a video of Erdogan walking with great difficulty and appearing extremely frail went viral.
In an attempt to quell the rumors, Erdogan’s aides released videos in November of the 68-year-old leader playing soccer and walking vigorously.
Sağlık için spor yapmak çok çok önemli. Ben de haftada üç gün spor yapmaya gayret ediyorum. Harekette bereket vardır. 🏀 pic.twitter.com/7sDmQV7MSp
— Recep Tayyip Erdoğan (@RTErdogan) October 3, 2021
On Tuesday, Erdogan told reporters that President Isaac Herzog may make a visit to Turkey in the near future.
Erdogan also said that he would like to improve relations with Israel and the two countries may forge an energy deal.
“We are now holding discussions with President Herzog,” he said. “He may visit us in Turkey. Prime Minister [Naftali] Bennett also has a positive approach.”
“We will strive to cooperate on a win-win basis,” he added. “As politicians, we should not be there to fight but to live in peace.”
An Israeli diplomatic official told Ynet that although talks have been held about Herzog visiting Turkey, a decision had not yet been reached about the matter.
(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)