(Istanbul) Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who is campaigning vigorously for re-election on May 14, canceled his public engagements on Wednesday due to an intestinal virus.

The 69-year-old head of state, twenty of whom are in power, had already had to interrupt a live television interview on Tuesday evening due to “stomach flu”.

“I will rest at home today on the advice of doctors,” the Turkish leader announced on Twitter.

“Unfortunately, we will not be able to reunite with our brothers from Kirikkale, Yozgat and Sivas today. I apologize to all,” Erdogan tweeted, listing localities in Central Anatolia where he was scheduled to speak.

The head of state had delivered three campaign speeches on Tuesday, less than 20 days before the presidential and legislative elections, which the polls announce as hotly contested.

On Tuesday evening, after a 15-minute hiatus from the live broadcast, Mr. Erdogan returned to the air, pale-skinned and red-eyed, apologizing for being ill.

“Yesterday and today there was a lot of work. I got the stomach flu because of that,” 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 viewers, ”he added, his features drawn.

His main rival, Kemal Kiliçdaroglu, 74, candidate of the National Alliance which brings together six opposition parties, immediately wished a “good recovery” to the head of state.

Several other Alliance leaders have sent their recovery wishes to the Turkish president.

“I wish Mr. @RTErdogan to recover soon and wish him a speedy recovery,” tweeted Meral Aksener, president of the Good Party, the second largest party in the opposition coalition.

The head of state, with a sometimes slow approach, aligns two to three daily meetings for his campaign and, during Ramadan, he also shared an iftar every evening – the meal for breaking the fast – in a different locality.

He plans to maintain a high fixture tempo across the country in the final stretch before the May 14 double ballot.

The head of state said Wednesday that he would resume “God willing” his program on Thursday.

Mr. Erdogan must in particular inaugurate on Thursday the first nuclear power plant in Turkey, built by the Russian nuclear giant Rosatom, in Akkuyu.

The Turkish leader’s health had fueled speculation after a large intestine operation at the end of 2011, followed by further surgery the following year.

Mr. Erdogan, then Prime Minister, had publicly denied suffering from colon cancer, explaining that the operations were aimed at removing polyps.