TURKEY

Turkish fan following surprises Indian star Aamir Khan

TURKISH FAN FOLLOWING SURPRISES INDIAN STAR AAMIR KHAN

Bollywood superstar Aamir Khan has said he is surprised to learn about his huge fan following in Turkey and expressed his interest in learning more about Turkish cinema.

Khan arrived in Istanbul earlier on a special invitation of Turkey during which he will also promote his latest film Secret Superstar that will be released worldwide on Oct. 20.

Speaking at a news conference, the critically-acclaimed actor, whose films often break box office records in India and around the world, said he had been "constantly getting messages from Turkey" to visit the country.

"I didn't know that in Turkey young people were watching my films. They kept inviting me and since then I [have said I] would like to come here."

He said his wife and son had visited Turkey a year back and "they had the most amazing time of their life and since then [my wife] Kiran has been telling me that we should come back."

He also expressed an interest in Turkish cinema.

"I am really keen to experience Turkish cinema and I am very keen to watch works of artists from Turkey," the 52-year-old told reporters.

"I am going to start doing that and up until now I have not really watched films from Turkey."

Earlier, Culture Ministry said in a statement that Khan had been invited to Turkey during which he will visit Istanbul and capital Ankara between Wednesday and Saturday.

The actor is also scheduled to meet Culture Minister Numan Kurtulmus as well as Turkish film producers, actors and cinema students.

Khan's latest film tells the story of a talented 14-year-old girl who wants to follow her dream of becoming a singer.

- ROHINGYA SITUATION 'HEARTBREAKING'
About the concept of the film, he said: "Often we complain that not enough films were [being] made about what a girl is feeling or what a woman is going through", adding that the movie was about a girl's "dreams, her aspirations, her hopes".

When asked whether he would consider acting in Hollywood films, Khan said: "Not actively. No."

Elaborating on his reasons, he said: "I feel the American culture [is] perhaps very alien to me and I don't know whether I fit into that, I don't know whether I would understand the emotional key of an average American audience; I am not sure I understand it."

He added that there had been a lot offers from the U.S. but so far he had "not really come across a script that I have been excited about".

"Other than that, for me it is not important where the films [are] coming from. It could be from the U.S., India, Turkey, China, or Africa. I don't care where the film is coming from as long as I love the story."

About a question on persecution of Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar, Khan said: "I think what is happening in Myanmar is very heartbreaking.

"Anywhere in the world when people suffer, anywhere in the world when people go through this kind of tragic experiences it is really heartbreaking and it happens all over the world at different times."

Since Aug. 25, some 507,000 Rohingya have crossed from Myanmar's western state of Rakhine into Bangladesh, according to the UN.

The refugees are fleeing a military operation in which security forces and Buddhist mobs have killed men, women and children, looted homes and torched Rohingya villages. According to Bangladeshi Foreign Minister Abul Hasan Mahmood Ali, around 3,000 Rohingya have been killed in the crackdown.

"I can only hope and pray that as human beings we can somehow get over this," he added.

Later, Khan met his Turkish fans at an Istanbul theater ahead of the screening of his 2016 hit Dangal. The film -- a biographical sports drama -- was released on Aug. 18 in Turkey.

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