Erdoğan joined by Jason Statham, Guy Ritchie in Istanbul cinema opening

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan was joined by British director Guy Ritchie and actor Jason Statham during an inauguration ceremony for a historic Istanbul cinema on Friday.

The Turkish president’s rare encounter with non-Turkish celebrities took place as he participated in the reopening ceremony of the historic Atlas Cinema and the Istanbul Cinema Museum, following a two-year restoration project, OdaTV news site said.

Organisers of the event honoured Erdoğan on his birthday, which coincided with the event, Oda TV said, with Erdoğan cutting a surprise birthday cake amid applause from the star-studded attendees.

The building hosting the Atlas cinema has been unveiled as Turkey’s first cinema museum, which will share the history of the country’s film industry.

The Turkish Presidency shared photographs from the event, showing Erdoğan flanked by celebrities, including Victoria’s Secret model Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, on its official website.

Ritchie, Statham and Huntington-Whitely are in Istanbul for the filming of the movie “Five Eyes.”