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.
Carl Jenkinson, Alex Lacazette and John-Jules were on the target as Arsenal rallied to beat Al Nasr 3-2 in a friendly match at the refurbished Al Maktoum Stadium in Dubai on Tuesday.
Harry Kane scored a stunning 93rd minute winner from the halfway line as Tottenham Hotspur edged Juventus 3-2 in an entertaining pre-season friendly in Singapore on Sunday.
Brazilian Gabriel Martinelli scored in his Arsenal debut on Monday as the English Premier League club launched their pre-season tour of the US with a 3-0 friendly win over the Colorado Rapids.
In winning her first Grand Slam title, Swiatek was also the youngest woman to win the French Open since Monica Seles in 1992. She was the first Polish woman to reach the final of the Roland Garros tournament in 81 years.
Five games into a Premier League season full of goals and drama, each of the traditional ‘big six’ have dropped at least five points, and the title race is wide open. Unbeaten Everton and Aston Villa are the surprise pace-setters
Ronald Koeman will know Barcelona can plunge Real Madrid into crisis on Saturday but for him a first Clasico as coach is more about vindication. Inflicting a third consecutive defeat in a week on Real at Camp Nou would create
Juventus warm-up for their Champions League clash against Barcelona with a Serie A home tie against Hellas Verona on Sunday, trying to close the gap on leaders AC Milan. Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s AC Milan, who next host Roma, are flying high,