Arsenal star Mesut Ozil was married Friday in Istanbul, with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his wife on hand as the legal witnesses.
Ozil, who is of Turkish descent but played for the German national team until last year, married model, actress and former Miss Turkey Amine Gulse in Istanbul.
Ozil had announced in March this year that he’d asked Mr Erdogan to be his best man – which, again, sparked criticism in his home country.
He accused the German football federation, its president, fans, and media for what he saw as racism in how it treated people with Turkish roots, questioning if his Turkish heritage made him “a more worthy target” than other athletes.
Ozil issued a statement in July defending the picture, saying there were “no political intentions” behind it.
As a result of the backlash, Ozil quit the national team.
Not all Turkish athletes share Ozil’s sentiments toward Erdogan.
Portland Trail Blazers star Enes Kanter has been hugely critical of the president which in turn he claims has made him a target of the government
While with the New York Knicks earlier this year, Kanter skipped the team’s game in London over fears he could be killed over his opposition to Erdogan. He also missed Portland’s game against Toronto in March.