German FA criticise Ozil, Gundogan for being 'manipulated'

16 May, 2018, 14:58 | Author: Bert Pena
  • Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan addresses a crowd during the congress of the ruling Justice and Development Party's Ankara youth branches at the Ankara Sports Hall in the capital Ankara Turkey

The 29-year-old was joined by Manchester City and German teammate Ilkay Gundogan who is also of Turkish descent and Everton striker Cenk Tosun, a German by birth.

Gundogan's shirt had "With respect for my president" written on it.

"Football and the DFB defend values which are not sufficiently respected by Mr Erdogan", said DFB president Reinhard Grindel.

The statement comes one day before both Ozil and Gundogan are likely to be named to Germany's preliminary squad for this summer's World Cup in Russian Federation.

Turkey, who are not qualified for the 2018 World Cup, is one of several countries hoping to host the 2024 European Championships, but Yardmici - who described the players in the photo as "Turkish" - affirmed none of them would feature in any upcoming promotional campaign. Both Ozil and Gundogan are in that squad.

Erdogan is a keen soccer fan and as a young man played the game at a semi-professional level.

His government arrested more than 50,000 people following a July 2016 coup attempt, and some 38,000 people still are behind bars for alleged links to the failed overthrow.

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Around 250 journalists and media workers are in jail in Turkey. It says the crackdown is needed for security reasons.

Investors hammered Turkey's lira on Tuesday, sending it to a record low after President Tayyip Erdogan said he plans to take greater control of the economy after next month's election, deepening concerns about his influence on monetary policy.

"The players, who as national players have to set an example, were in a situation that invited misunderstanding", said the spokesman, Steffen Seibert.

German team co-ordinator Oliver Bierhoff also added his sentiments insisting that they do not endorse it and will have a chat with players, however, he believes in their commitment to the team.

Erdoğan has been Turkey president since 2014, and is campaigning for re-election.

"If the United Kingdom government and Theresa May believe in free expression and free speech, then we expect them to put robust discussion of the censorship of journalists, artists and academics in Turkey on the table in meetings with President Erdogan while he is in London".

"I have known both players a long time, they have done a lot for integration. We should not involve them in our campaign", he told AFP in London on Monday.

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