Football: Oezil weds actress fiancee in luxury Istanbul hotel

The couple in a photo posted to Oezil's Instagram page.
The couple in a photo posted to Oezil's Instagram page.PHOTO: INSTAGRAM

ISTANBUL (DPA) - German World Cup winner Mesut Oezil married actress Amine Guelse at a luxury hotel in Istanbul on Friday (June 7) in a celebration that was attended by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

The sun was setting when Oezil, 30, and his fiancee Guelse, 26, arrived at the Four Seasons by the Bosporous Strait for their wedding ceremony.

They visited the hotel's terraces along the Bosporous, where the ceremony was held, before walking hand in hand through the lobby, according to a dpa reporter at the scene.

In the early evening, security staff wearing the presidential seal on their clothing appeared on site, and at least three coastguard boats were spotted on the Bosporous. Then, at around 8pm (1am on Saturday, Singapore time), a government convoy parked at a side entrance before Erdogan was seen briefly on the garden terrace.

The Four Seasons by the Bosporous Strait, known for its terraces above the water, separates the European and Asian sides of Turkey's most populous city. Rates at the restored 19th-century Ottoman palace run from €520 (S$) a night to €6,000 for the palace suite.

Ahead of the wedding, Oezil asked fans wishing to give gifts to donate to a charity that pays for operations for poor children.

Many fans have asked me, my close relatives and friends about our wishes for tomorrow's wedding. As a professional footballer I am in a fortunate and privileged position. However, I invite everyone who is willing and able to help to support a very special project close to both of our hearts that we will undertake with @big.shoe11! 🙏🏼 Amine and I will bear the expenses for surgeries of 1000 children in need. I’d be happy if in addition, many more treatments all over the world can be fulfilled. If you would like to help this good cause, please click the link in my bio. I have really taken the team at BigShoe and the passion they treat their young patients with to my heart. BigShoe works alongside German and Swiss Doctors to help children all around the world by providing life changing surgeries. Burns, club feet & clefts are medical conditions that developing countries struggle to treat due to lack of doctors, money and medicine. We have already worked together for surgeries in Brazil (Worldcup 2014), in Africa (2016) and in Russia (2018). Now we want to go the next step and help children worldwide. 🙏🏼❤ #M1Ö @gulseamine

The 30-year-old Arsenal player has reportedly been dating Guelse, a former Miss Turkey, since 2017.

A photo distributed by Erdogan's office in March, apparently showing Oezil and Guelse handing him an invitation to their wedding, sparked criticism.

The footballer, who was born in Germany to Turkish parents, also drew condemnation last year when he posed for pictures with Erdogan ahead of elections in Turkey and ahead of the World Cup in Russia.