President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Wednesday cancelled his planned appearances due to a stomach bug less than three weeks before Turkey’s crunch election. The 69-year-old leader’s announcement came in the heat of a hard-fought campaign in what is widely viewed as Turkey’s most important election of its post-Ottoman era. Erdogan had three appearances in the central Anatolian provinces planned for Wednesday. But he said Vice President Fuat Oktay would take his place instead. “Today I will rest at home under the advice of our doctors,” Erdogan said on his official Twitter account. “With God’s permission, we will continue our program from tomorrow,” he said. “On this occasion, I wish all my citizens health, peace and enjoyment.” Erdogan has been campaigning tirelessly to reverse a dip in polls and extend his two-decade election winning streak. He is running neck-and-neck with secular opposition leader Kemal Kilicdaroglu and must contend with the dual blows of a raging economic crisis and the impact of a massive February earthquake that claimed more than 50,000 lives. But he cut short a live television interview late on Tuesday after getting sick on air.