Mesut Ozil risks backlash for dining with Turkish president in Istanbul

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Mesut Ozil sits down to dinner with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Istanbul, leaving Arsenal's midfielder behind bars for a controversial figure

  • Mesut Ozil risked a backlash for dinner with the Turkish president
  • President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is considered a highly controversial figure
  • Reporters Without Borders say that Turkey is the largest prison of journalists in the world
  • The 30-year-old has caused controversy for meeting with Erdogan in the past
  • Ozil invited the controversial ruler to his wedding on June 7

Mesut Ozil again risked a delay after sitting down for dinner with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

The Arsenal player was pictured with his fiancĂ© Amine Gulse in the Dolmabahce Palace in Istanbul next to the Turkish ruler for an Iftar – the moment of fasting for an evening meal during Ramadan.

Erdogan is a highly controversial figure. Since a failed coup in 2016, Erdogan has widened his presidential powers and stressed on freedom of expression.

Mesut Ozil (L) sat down for dinner with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Istanbul

Ozil, who is a third-generation Turkish-German, shared an Iftar - a slice of fast supper

Ozil, who is a third-generation Turkish-German, shared an Iftar – a slice of fast supper

He and his fighter Amine Gulse (L) had apparently invited the controversial ruler to their wedding

He and his fighter Amine Gulse (L) had apparently invited the controversial ruler to their wedding

According to Reporters Without Borders, Turkey is now the largest prison of journalists in the world.

Ozil, who is a third-generation Turkish-German, has been criticized in Germany for his interactions with Erdogan in the past.

He caused controversy by presenting himself with a signed Arsenal shirt at a meeting in London in May last year, leading the nation team manager Oliver Bierhoff to suggest that he should be dropped as a result of the & # 39; s World Cup.

Ozil defended the meeting in a statement: & # 39; For me, having a photo with President Erdogan was not about politics or elections, it was about me respecting my family's highest office, & # 39 ; he said. & # 39; My job is a football player and not a politician, and our meeting was no policy distinction. & # 39;

The 30-year-old retired after the World Cup had earned 92 caps for Die Mannschaft and led them to the World Cup success in 2014. Ozil struck out with racism in the German FA and for making him a 39; scapegoat & # 39; for Germany & # 39; s miserable 2018 Cup performance in the wake of that initial controversy.

Ozil caused controversy in Germany by giving Erdogan a signed Arsenal shirt in May 2018

Ozil caused controversy in Germany by giving Erdogan a signed Arsenal shirt in May 2018

The Gunners midfielder is likely to feature in & # 39; finals of & # 39; e Europa League later this month

The Gunners midfielder will likely feature in & # 39; the final of & # 39; e Europa League later this month

Bild writes that local reports suggest that Ozil invited Erdogan to his wedding as a witness on June 7.

The Gunners midfielder is likely to appear in Arsenal & # 39; s Arsenal final showdown with Chelsea in Baku later this month, which takes place on May 29.

Ozil was linked with a move away from Arsenal, but he escaped speculation about his future after going into the Gunners' semi-final victory over Valencia.

& # 39; I don't think there's a chance of that being honest, & # 39; Ozil told DAZN Roof.

& # 39; I have two more years here and what happens next is not in my hands. We'll see it then, but I'm proud to be at this club and truly happy with this club. & # 39;

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