ISTANBUL (AFP) – US actress Lindsay Lohan on Friday (Jan 27) met Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and seven-year-old Syrian girl blogger Bana al-Abed in Ankara, the Turkish presidency said on its website.
In a picture taken at the presidential palace, a smiling Lohan is standing next to Erdogan, who is embracing Bana, and his wife Emine.
Bana shared a short video on Twitter, in which Lohan says: “We want to send to all of the people in Syria and Aleppo suffering, and to all the refugees, we are here supporting you and you can hang on and be strong. Just like Bana has.”
Lohan had previously expressed support for Turkey’s efforts to host nearly three million Syrians fleeing their nation’s five-year war, the State-run Anadolu news agency said.
The US actress gave light-blue badges to Erdogan and his wife, bearing a quote from the Turkish leader: “World is bigger than five,” according to Anadolu.
The quote is a reference to the UN Security Council’s five permanent members – Britain, China, France, Russia and the United States.
Bana came to international attention with her tweets giving a tragic account of the war in Syria’s flashpoint city Aleppo, whose rebel areas fell back into government control last month.
She was evacuated from the besieged city to Turkey in December, and later that month she and her family were given the rare honour of being hosted by Erdogan at the presidential palace.
Sharing the picture on her Twitter account, Bana wrote: “Meeting with my friends @rt–erdogan, Emine and @lindsaylohan to support the people of Syria.”
Lohan, a former child star who appeared in hit films The Parent Trap, Freaky Friday and Mean Girls, has struggled with drug addiction and has had numerous run-ins with the law.
The troubled actress was sentenced in 2013 to 240 hours of community service for reckless driving and lying to police following a 2012 car accident in Santa Monica, California.
Rumours began circulating this week that the actress may have converted to Islam, after she was spotted in Turkey wearing a hijab, said the BBC.
The actress also appears to have deleted all of her posts on Twitter and Instagram, changing her bio on the latter to read "alaikum salam", which means "peace be upon you" in Arabic.