- Title: TURKEY: PREPARATIONS FOR WEDDING OF BILAL ERDOGAN, SON OF TURKISH PRESIDENT
- Date: 10th August 2003
- Summary: (U4) ISTANBUL, TURKEY (AUGUST 10, 2003) (REUTERS) VARIOUS HEADLINES IN TURKISH NEWSPAPERS ABOUT WEDDING (4 SHOTS)
- Embargoed: 25th August 2003 13:00
- Location: ISTANBUL, TURKEY
- Country: Turkey
- Topics: General,Politics,People
- Reuters ID: LVA8DTILFLZNOWN4GSO3J62L9EA5
- Story Text: Istanbul prepares to host the wedding ceremony of Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan's son Bilal Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan (Re-cep Tie-yip Er-do-gan) was preparing for the wedding ceremony of his son Bilal (Be-lal) on Sunday (August 10), along with the rest of the country.
The marriage ceremony of Bilal to Reyhan Uzuner (Ray-hun Uz-uner), a 17-year-old high school student, wil draw thousands from around the world but many more in Turkey have followed the pre-wedding gossip and are waiting for more details from the couple's big day.
More than 10,000 people have been invited to the ceremony in Istanbul including Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi. If he attends, Berlusconi will be one of four witnesses at the ceremony. He is expected to arrive with his spokesman Paolo Bonaitui and diplomatic aide Giovanni Castellaneta, NTV said.
Some 4,000 police officers were on duty around the Lutfi Kirdar Congress centre, a popular venue for international meetings usually reserved for politicians and diplomats.
Armoured vehicles surrounded the area and snipers were deployed to their positions on rooftops while police officers on the ground used X-ray devices to search everyone entering the centre.
Most of the roads linking and surrounding the centre were closed to public use.
The Turkish media has recently been reporting on events leading up to the wedding with photographers, cameramen and reporters all vying for the best picture. Columnists have been highly critical of many points about the marriage including the age of Uzuner, the setting up of road blocks, the use of government resources and the expected presents for the Erdogan family.
Erdogan has asked guests to donate to orphanages in lieu of sending wreaths to ceremony.
It's believed the couple were introduced by a friend they had in common. Bilal Erdogan is expected to take Uzuner to the United States where he is still studying a university. A lawyer for the family said in a written statement that all the legal necessities have been put in place to ensure a proper wedding.
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