(AP/Franc Zhurda)
Recep Tayyip Erdogan

Professor Itzhak Shapira, a cardiologist, is deputy director-general of Tel Aviv’s Sourasky Medical Center.

By Pesach Benson, United With Israel

Turkish President President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is getting medical advice and possibly treatment from an Israeli doctor, Ynet reported.

Professor Itzhak Shapira is deputy director-general of Tel Aviv’s Sourasky Medical Center and a cardiologist, which suggests Erdogan may have heart problems.

Erdogan, who turns 68 in February, is periodically at the center of rumors about his health.

In November, Turkish authorities launched a legal inquiry against 30 people accused of tweeting disinformation about his wellness. The social media posts were sparked by a video in which Erdogan appeared to be walking gingerly.

Little is known about Erdogan’s medical history except that he underwent intestinal surgery in 2011.

Shapira has been teaching at Tel Aviv University’s Sackler School of Medicine since 2010. According to Ynet, he advises other world leaders on their personal medical care. Shapira and officials from Sourasky declined to comment to Ynet.

The news comes amid the backdrop of Erdogan telling reporters last week that Israeli President Isaac Herzog may visit Turkey soon. Shimon Peres was the last Israeli president to visit Turkey in 2007. Herzog’s office has not commented.

Turkey is keen to partner up with Israel on a natural gas pipeline to supply Europe with energy, but officials in Jerusalem say they won’t make any moves at the expense of Israel’s partnership with Cyprus and Greece. Last week, the Biden administration withdrew its support for the EastMed gas pipeline, calling it politically “destabilising” as well as “economically and environmentally unviable.” Turkey has territorial claims on Cyprus and its waters, as well as a number of Greek islands in the Aegean Sea.

Other points of friction include Erdogan allowing Hamas to plan terror attacks against Israel from Turkish soil and his meddling in Jerusalem by providing funds to radical Islamic organizations.

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