MESUT OZIL and his fiancee Amine Gulse were pictured dining with Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan during Ramadan.

The Arsenal midfielder has faced criticism in the past for his close ties to the controversial politician.

Erdogan, 65, invited Ozil – who has family roots from Turkey – and his missus to a feast in the Dolmabahce Palace in Istanbul.

And the former Germany international was pictured sitting at one table with the autocratic president – right in front of two Turkish flags.

The Arsenal midfielder's controversial relationship with the politician is seemingly tightening.

Ozil, 30, was subjected to fierce criticism for the picture he took together with Erdogan on the eve of last summer's disastrous World Cup.

He insisted their conversation was just about football.

But with the international relations between Germany and Turkey remaining strenuous, the midfielder was accused of endorsing Erdogan and suffered a wave of xenophobic and racist attacks.

Ozil then announced his retirement from international football, slamming the German FA in a bombshell, three-part message posted on social media.

The Gunners star sparked more controversy when he invited Erdogan to his wedding, asking the Turkish president to be a witness to his marriage.

German chancellor Angela Merkel's chief of staff, Helge Braun, slammed the midfielder for the decision, telling Bild it "made one sad".

Ozil has not shied away from his Middle East background either.

Earlier this month he was seen proudly wearing a Turkish flag chain as he was arriving at the Emirates ahead of the Europa League semi-finals clash against Valencia.

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