Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Mesut Ozil (L), and his fiancee Amine Gulse (R), during an Iftar dinner in Istanbul on Saturday night. AFP
Arsenal's German midfielder Mesut Ozil dined with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan during a Ramadan Iftar meal in Istanbul late on Saturday, a move likely to cause a backlash after previous meetings caused controversy.
Images in Turkish media showed a smiling Ozil and model fiancee Amine Gulse, sitting at a table on either side of Erdogan at the Ottoman-era Dolmabahce Palace.
The Iftar, the meal for breaking the fast during the Holy month of Ramadan, was also attended by young Turks ahead of Youth and Sports Day on Sunday, a national holiday in Turkey.
In another photo, Ozil and Gulse were sitting in a room with Erdogan, joined by Fahrettin Altun, communications director at the Turkish presidency.
Ozil, who has Turkish roots, was criticised in March after inviting Erdogan to his wedding to the former Miss Turkey scheduled for this summer.
He had already sparked controversy last year when he was photographed with Erdogan, which led to Ozil becoming a target of xenophobic comments.
After their meeting in May 2018, Ozil's loyalty to Germany was questioned and following a disappointing World Cup performance last year, he left the national squad and claimed there was racism within the German FA. The German FA dismissed his criticism.
A Turkish court on Tuesday starts the trial of a US consulate staffer accused of spying and attempting to overthrow the government in one of several cases fuelling tensions between the United States and its NATO ally.
Turkey is home to around 3.5 million Syrian refugees, and most of those benefitting from the programme are Syrian.
The United States could soon freeze preparations for delivering F-35 fighter jets to Turkey, officials told Reuters, in what would be the strongest signal yet by Washington that Ankara cannot have both the advanced aircraft and Russia’s S-400 air defense system.
Known for her consistent performances, top Emirati rider Nadia Taryam is training hard in Germany with the UAE team for the Nations Cup scheduled to be held in Rabat, Morocco, from Oct.10-13. The Rabat event also serves as an Olympic qualifier. Nadia, whose endless list of accolades includes success
Southampton: Bangladesh boosted their bid to reach the World Cup semi-finals as Shakib Al Hasan’s superb all-round display inspired a 62-run win over Afghanistan on Monday. Shakib’s 51 laid the foundations for Bangladesh to score 262-7 and made him the leading run-scorer in this year’s World Cup.
London: Pakistan find themselves “alive and kicking” in the World Cup despite a disastrous start as coach Mickey Arthur warned his unpredictable team were still gunning for the semi-finals. The 1992 champions were on the brink of elimination after losing three of their first five games, including a bruising
SHARJAH: Flying the UAE flag high again, Lamia Tariq Malallah produced another superb performance on the international stage to bag gold. Known as the UAE’s little wonder, the eight-year-old clinched top honours at the International Rhythmic Gymnastics Youth Cup held in Tashkent, Uzbekistan,