Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan appears as a guest at Mesut Ozil’s wedding in Istanbul




Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan was a guest at Mesut Ozil’s wedding on Friday.
The Arsenal star and partner Amine Gulse were married in Istanbul at a lavish ceremony surrounded by family and friends.
It was reported last month when Ozil attended a banquet in the city with the president that the couple had invited Erdogan to be a witness at their wedding.
And it appears that he accepted their invitation as he was photographed speaking and signing a document during the ceremony.
Erdogan, joined by his wife Emine, was pictured next to the couple during the ceremony, set to the stunning backdrop of the Bosporus Strait.
Ozil’s relationship with the Turkish president continues to grow, which has been met with resentment in some quarters in the country of his birth, Germany.
The Turkish president is a highly controversial figure and continues to have poor relations with Germany. Since a failed coup attempt in 2016, Erdogan has increased his presidential powers and clamped down on freedom of expression.
According to Reporters Without Borders, Turkey is now the biggest jailer of journalists in the world.
The 30-year-old, who is a third-generation Turkish-German, joined his partner Gulse to sit down for an Iftar – the break of fasting for an evening meal during Ramadan – alongside the Turkish ruler at the Dolmabahce Palace last month.
The midfielder also caused controversy in May last year when he presented Erdogan with a signed Arsenal shirt at a meeting in London, which led national team manager Oliver Bierhoff to suggest he should have been dropped from the World Cup squad as a result.
Ozil defended the meeting in a statement: ‘For me, having a picture with President Erdogan wasn’t about politics or elections, it was about me respecting the highest office of my family’s country,’ he said. ‘My job is a football player and not a politician, and our meeting was not an endorsement of any policies.’
The 30-year-old retired after the World Cup having earned 92 caps for Die Mannschaft and led them to World Cup success in 2014.
Ozil hit out at racism in the German FA and for making him a ‘scapegoat’ for Germany’s miserable 2018 World Cup performance in the wake of that initial controversy.
Ahead of his wedding on Friday, Ozil and partner Gulse, who is a model and actress, made a charitable pledge to help out children in need, as part of their celebrations.
The Arsenal playmaker issued a statement regarding what guests could expect to bring to his wedding as a gift.
As is common practice wedding goers would bring something nice for the bride and groom, but Ozil instead chose to use his privileged position for the greater good.
aking to social media, Ozil issued a statement in which he called for guests to join him and Gulse in donating money for those in need.
‘As a professional footballer I am in a fortunate and privileged position. However I invite everyone who is willing and able to help to support a very special project close to both of our hearts that we will undertake with BigShoe,’ wrote Ozil.
‘Amine and I will bear the expenses for surgeries of 1000 children in need. I’d be happy if in addition, many more treatments all over the world can be fulfilled,’ he added.
Ozil then posted an image of himself and Gulse, holding the white ‘BigShoe’ which forms the charity’s emblem.

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