Turkey's Erdogan hires services of senior Israeli doctor

Sourasky Medical Center Deputy Director-General Prof. Itzhak Shapira — a trained cardiologist — advises Turkish leader, which might point to possible heart problems
Adir Yanko|
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has been recently receiving medical advice from an Israeli doctor, Ynet has learned on Thursday.
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  • The physician in question is Prof. Itzhak Shapira, deputy director-general of Sourasky Medical Center in Tel Aviv and overseer of medical tourism at the hospital. Shapira advises world leaders on medical issues and treatments.
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    רג'פ טאיפ ארדואן נשיא טורקיה
    רג'פ טאיפ ארדואן נשיא טורקיה
    Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan
    (Photo: Reuters)
    He is a trained cardiologist, which might suggest the Turkish leader is dealing with heart problems, but there is no official information to support that speculation.
    Sources familiar with the two's relationship say they "won't be surprised if they met in Turkey."
    Sourasky Medical Center and Shapira have declined to comment on the matter.
    Speculations over Erdogan's health have made rounds in recent months after videos of him walking gingerly at an official even surfaced online late last year.
    In an attempt to dispel rumors about his health, Erdogan’s communications office shared a video of him playing basketball.
    Erdogan, who turns 68 next month, underwent laparoscopic gastrointestinal surgery in 2011 but he was not reported to be suffering from any other medical conditions.
    Meanwhile, the Turkish president said on Monday that his Israeli counterpart Isaac Herzog might travel to Turkey soon on an official state visit.
    Speaking to reporters, Erdogan floated the idea of the two nations signing an energy deal, owing to their location on the coasts of the gas-rich Mediterranean.
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    יצחק הרצוג
    יצחק הרצוג
    President Isaac Herzog
    (Photo: Moti Kimchi)
    "Politics is not a struggle, we must take politics to a line of peace," he said.
    A senior source confirmed that Herzog has been mulling traveling to Turkey, but said a final decision has yet to be made in that regard.
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