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Mesut Ozil says not having picture with Turkish president would be 'disrespectful'

Sunday 22/July/2018 - 07:11 PM
Sada El Balad
Edit by: Mohamed Emad


Arsenal midfielder Mesut Ozil says he would have been "disrespecting his ancestors' roots" had he not posed for photographs with the Turkish president، according to BBC.

Ozil and Manchester City's Ilkay Gundogan - both Germany internationals of Turkish descent - were criticised by the German Football Association for meeting Recep Tayyip Erdogan in May.

In a statement، Ozil said it "was not about politics or elections".

"I have two hearts، one German and one Turkish،" he said on Twitter.

"It was about me representing the highest office of my family's country.

"During my childhood، my mother taught me to always be respectful and to never forget where I came from، and these are still values I think about to this day."

Later، Ozil released a second statement criticising German media for blaming the country's World Cup failure on the photographs and his dual heritage.

He added: "They didn't criticise my performances، they didn't criticise the team's performances، they just criticised my Turkish ancestry and respect for my upbringing.

"This crosses a personal line that shouldn't be crossed، as newspapers try to turn the nation of Germany against me."


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