DESPARDES News Monitor — German footballer Mesut Özil has married his fiancee in Istanbul, with Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan as his best man.
The German midfielder of Turkish origin married his fiance, actress and model Amine Gulse, on Friday at a ceremony along the Bosporus in Istanbul that was attended by many statesmen and celebrities.
Photos of the wedding showed a smiling Erdogan and his wife Emine standing next to the couple as their marriage was formalized.
Erdogan Best Man at German Footballer Marriage
Ozil and Gulse, who was crowned Miss Turkey in 2014, also made a hefty donation to the Turkish Red Crescent to provide a meal to some 15,000 Syrian refugees.
But his choice of best man has drawn some criticism.
The professional footballer received heavy criticism over a photo he took with President Erdogan in 2018 — just before Turkish Presidential elections.
Ozil quit the German national team as a consequence.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s chief of staff was part of a chorus of criticism which intensified after Germany crashed out of the first round of the World Cup in Russia.
After the summer defeat, Ozil posted a lengthy statement announcing his resignation from the national team and accusing German football officials of racism.
Ozil, who now plays for Arsenal, had made 92 appearances for Germany and played a key role in their 2014 World Cup victory.
He said he was being blamed for Germany’s disappointing World Cup performance.
Ozil also said the German Football Association head, Reinhard Grindel, failed to support him when he received hate mail, threatening phone calls, and racist comments on social media after Germany left the World Cup.
“I am German when we win, but I am an immigrant when we lose,” Ozil said, adding that despite his successful history with the team, the way he was treated made him “no longer want to wear the German national team shirt”.