New Delhi: Actor Aamir Khan recently met Turkey’s First Lady Emine Erdoğan ahead of the filming of his upcoming feature film Laal Singh Chaddha, a remake of the 1994 US comedy-drama Forrest Gump, in the country.
The meeting was held Saturday at Khan’s request at the presidential residence of Huber Mansion in Istanbul. The two reportedly discussed various social responsibility projects, one among which was Khan’s Water Foundation that he co-founded with his wife Kiran Rao to deliver water to drought-stricken areas in India.
According to Turkish portal Daily Sabah, Erdoğan “congratulated him for his courageous handling of social problems in his films”. They also discussed the “similarities” in Indian and Turkish cultures.
Part of Laal Singh Chaddha was shot in India before the lockdown was imposed on 25 March. The rest of the film will be shot in Turkey, for which Khan is spending time in the country. Shooting for the film for a schedule of around 40 days is due to begin in October.
This isn’t the first time that Khan has visited Turkey. In 2017, the Turkish government had extended him an invitation to promote his film Superstar in the country.
Visit amid strained relations
Khan’s meeting took place even as India shares strained ties with Turkey. India’s relationship with Turkey has deteriorated in the past several months, particularly after Article 370 was scrapped in Kashmir last year. Turkey has continued to side with Pakistan on Kashmir.
India had retaliated by cutting defence exports to Turkey last year, among other measures. In September 2019, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan had criticised India, saying “eight million people are stuck” in Kashmir.
On 2 August, Pakistani President Arif Alvi had put out a tweet saying Erdoğan has “assured that his country would continue to support” Pakistan’s stance on Kashmir.
President Alvi said that during these difficult times, the occupation regimes continue their extreme repression in Palestine and Kashmir. Turkish President assured that his country would continue to support –
— The President of Pakistan (@PresOfPakistan) August 1, 2020