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Turkey's Erdogan helps Mesut Ozil tie the knot

Turkey's Erdogan helps Mesut Ozil tie the knot
© Reuters
The German midfielder has previously faced heavy criticism for his relationship with the Turkish President.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan was in the wedding party as Arsenal's Mesut Ozil got married on Friday.

The German midfielder, who has Turkish roots, faced criticism ahead of last year's World Cup after posing for photos with the nation's leader.

The furore prompted Ozil, 30, to retire from international football, citing the "racism and disrespect" he had faced in the fall-out from the row and Germany's first-round exit from the tournament.

Turkey Germany Ozil
Erdogan, second right, Ozil, centre, his wife Amine Gulse, second left, Erdogan's wife Emine Erdogan and Istanbul Governor and temporary mayor Ali Yerlikaya (Presidential Press Service via AP, Pool)

Turkey's state-run Anadolu news agency said Erdogan and his wife, Emine, were legal witnesses for Ozil, 30, as he married former Miss Turkey Amine Gulse in Istanbul on Friday.

Secular Turkish weddings require a witness each for the bride and groom.

Pictures showed Erdogan making a speech at the ceremony, which was held at a hotel on the banks of the river Bosphorus.

Erdogan has been accused of violating human rights in Turkey following an attempted coup in the country in the summer of 2016.

Amnesty International describes dissent being "ruthlessly suppressed" in the country, with thousands detained without trial over alleged links to an organisation linked to the uprising.

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