Aamir Khan cops criticism for posing with controversial Turkish president’s wife

In the wake of strained Indo-Turkic political ties, the Bollywood super star meeting with Erdogen and his wife creates uproar back home

By Mayur Lookhar

Aamir Khan with Emine Erdogen (R)

Indian super star Aamir Khan is in Turkey ahead of the shoot for his film Laal Singh Chaddha [2021]. The actor is copping criticism for meeting controversial Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogen and his wife Emine Erdogen at the presidential residence at Huber mansion. Erdogen and his government are known for their strong right wing polices. Since Erdogen’s rise to power, the relationship between Turkey and India have srained over Istanbul’s stand on Kashmir and open support to Pakistan, especially on the Kashmir issue.

As per local reports, the meeting was requested by Khan, who informed Erdogan about social responsibility projects he has initiated, including the Paani [water] Foundation, which he and his wife Kiran Rao established to deliver water to drought-stricken areas in India.

Khan’s visit amidst strained India-Turkey political ties has led to criticism in some quarters back home in India.

“Aamir Khan who avoided meeting Benjamin Netanyahu, a friend of India, meets Turkish First Lady, Emine Erdogan at a time when Turkey is openly backing Pakistan and cornering India on Kashmir. Reportedly, Aamir sought the meeting. If true, he has made a very loud statement,” tweeted Sonam Mahajan, a well known political commentator and a strong supporter of Narendra Modi and the Bhartiya Janata Party.

“I urge Shri Rahul Kanwal to ask his efficient team to run some digital forensics on Aamir Khan’s activities, statements and meetings over the past few years to draw up his profile. It will be really helpful for the country to judge if Aamir is a rationalist or a closet Islamist,” added Mahajan.

Reportedly, Khan was among the several Bollywood celebs who were invited to the Salom Bollywood event organised by the Israeli embassy to mark the visit of president Benjamin Netanyahu in Mumbai a few years ago.

“Immediately the Islamist occupation of Hagia Sophia, Aamir Khan goes to Turkey and praises the rogue Erdogan. That he has rushed in the midst of a pandemic when most people are restricting their travel shows his overflowing joyous emotions,” tweeted columnist Vikas Saraswat.

What is @aamir_khan’s game? He must be knowing that @RTErdogan is trying to stir trouble in #Kashmir & is an awoved enemyof the @BJP4India and Narendra Modi,” tweeted India-based French journalist Francois Gautier.

There were thousands of Tweets by netizens slamming Khan for his meeting with the Erdogen and his wife.

Khan is not averse to political criticism. In 2015, the actor had copped criticism for his comment that intolerance had grown in India. Later, the actor was heavily criticized for saying that his wife Kiran wanted to move out of India as she feared for the family’s life.

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