MX23RW : Tuesday, October 23 14:49:00

Mesut Ozil defends controversial meeting with Turkey's president

Ozil defends meeting with Turkey's president
© Reuters
Mesut Ozil insists that he has no regrets about posing for a photo with Turkey's president Recep Tayyip Erdogan prior to the World Cup.

Arsenal and Germany midfielder Mesut Ozil has defended his actions after being criticised for meeting with Turkey's president Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Ozil and Manchester City's Ilkay Gundogan posed for a photo with Erdogan, which did not go down well with the German Football Federation nor the local press.

The photo was taken shortly before the World Cup, leading to iconic figures Stefan Effenberg and Oliver Bierhoff questioning whether either player should have been selected for the tournament.

Taking to Twitter on Sunday afternoon, though, Ozil hit back at his critics and insists that he has no regrets over what was described as a political stunt due to Erdogan's controversial status.

"In may, I met President Erdogan in London, during a charitable and educational event," he posted on the social media site. "We first met in 2010 after he and Angela Merkel watched the Germany vs Turkey match together in Berlin. Since then, out paths have crossed a lot of times around the globe.

"I'm aware that the picture of us caused a huge response in the German media, and whilst some people may accuse me of lying or being deceitful, the picture we took had no political intentions. As I said, my mother has never let me lose sight of my ancestry, heritage and family traditions. For me, having a picture with President Erdogan wasn't about politics or elections, it was about me respecting the highest office of my family's country.

"My job is a football player and not a politician, and out meeting was not an endorsement of any policies. In fact, we spoke about the same topic that we do every time we have met – football – as he too was a player in his youth. Although the German media have portrayed something different, the truth is that not meeting with the President would have been disrespecting the roots of my ancestors, who I know would be proud of where I am today.

"For me, it didn't matter who was President, it mattered that it was the President. Having respect for political office is a view I'm sure both the Queen and Prime Minister Theresa May share when they too hosted Erdogan in London. Whether it had been the Turkish or German president, my actions would've been no different."

Ozil played twice for Germany in their first-round exit from Russia 2018.

Share this article now:
Ilkay Gundogan in action for Germany on June 8, 2018
Read Next:
Effenberg: 'Gundogan, Ozil are lucky'
>

Loading ...

Failed to load data.

Loading ...

Failed to load data.

Select and display your favourite team's news and scores in this panel

Loading ...

Failed to load data.

Loading ...

Failed to load data.

Select and display your favourite team's news and scores in this panel
Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Manchester CityMan City97202632323
2Liverpool97201631323
3Chelsea96302071321
4Arsenal970222111121
5Tottenham HotspurSpurs9702167921
6Bournemouth95221612417
7Watford95131312116
8Everton94321512315
9Wolverhampton WanderersWolves943298115
10Manchester UnitedMan Utd94231516-114
11Leicester CityLeicester94051515012
12Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton93241013-311
13Burnley92251017-78
14West Ham UnitedWest Ham9216814-67
15Crystal Palace9216511-67
16Southampton9135614-86
17Cardiff CityCardiff9126819-115
18Fulham91261125-145
19Huddersfield TownHuddersfield9036418-143
20Newcastle UnitedNewcastle9027614-82

Subscribe to our Newsletter


Transfer Talk Daily
Match previews - twice weekly
Morning Briefing (7am UTC)
Ultra close-up image of Kevin De Bruyne [NOT FOR USE IN ARTICLES]Get the latest transfer news, match previews and news direct to your inbox!

Loading ...

Failed to load data.

Loading ...

Failed to load data.

Select and display your favourite team's news and scores in this panel
Login, I already have my ad-free pass
Log in to customise Sports Mole
Buy ad-free access (show me the options)
Buy monthly ad-free access for £1.20/month
Buy yearly ad-free access for £12 (2 months free)
Settings - Logout - Manage your account
Settings - Logout - Manage your account