(Istanbul) Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan interrupted a live television interview on Tuesday, before returning and apologizing, citing stomach flu.

The 69-year-old leader made three campaign speeches on Tuesday, ahead of tight presidential and legislative elections on May 14.

He was to end the evening live with a joint interview with Ulke TV and Kanal 7.

His TV appearance started more than 90 minutes late, then was cut short in the middle of a question after 10 minutes of interview.

The camera was moving and the reporter asking the question rose from his chair when the broadcast was cut. “Oh wow,” said an unidentified voice from behind the camera.

Mr. Erdogan returned 15 minutes later apologizing for being sick.

“Yesterday and today there was a lot of work. Because of that I got the stomach flu,” he said. “At one point, I wondered if it would be a bad idea if we canceled the show. But we promised. I ask for your forgiveness and that of your audience.”

His face looked tired and his eyes seemed to water as he spoke. The Turkish leader then answered a few more questions before the show ended.

Mr. Erdogan and his Islamo-conservative AKP party have dominated Turkish politics for 20 years. But the current election campaign is one of the biggest challenges for the outgoing president. The polls give him either neck and neck or beaten by Kemal Kilicdaroglu.