German footballers drawn into political row after Erdogan photo

German footballers drawn into political row after Erdogan photo

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. "To my dear president, with my respects", Gundogan wrote on his.

"It's odd that German footballers would let themselves be used in the election campaign of a Turkish president who has so recently made disparaging remarks about Germany", Hans-Peter Friedrich, deputy speaker of the German parliament said. In doing that, our players have certainly not helped the DFB's work on integration.

DFB team coordinator Oliver Bierhoff added: "I still have absolutely no doubts about Mesut and Ilkay's commitment to playing for the Germany national team and how much they identify with our values".

"They were unaware of the symbolism of these pictures, but we can not endorse it, and we will discuss the matter with the players". As German national players, we confess to the values of the DFB and are aware of our responsibility.

Gundogan later said he had not meant to make a political statement or get involved in an election campaign.

"Football is our life, not politics".

Servet Yardimci, vice president of the Turkish football federation defended the photo.

More news: British rugby player dies after visiting nightclub on Sri Lanka tour

Turkey's Tayyip Erdogan said he plans to take greater control of the economy after presidential elections next month and the central bank will have to take note of what the president says and act accordingly.

Pictures of the meeting were then posted on the official Twitter account of Erdogan's ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) ahead of June 24 presidential and parliamentary elections.

"DFB president's remarks are unacceptable. Since they will ask the president about it, we have to give off the image of a president who is effective in monetary policies", he said.

German Football Association (DFB) president Reinhard Grindel was not happy with the former Real Madrid star after suggesting that DFB does not agree with Erdogan politically.

"The Turkish Football Federation will engage in no such behaviour and will continue its bid for Euro 2024 to the end within the rules of UEFA", he said.

There has been pressure from human rights campaigners and exiled Turkish citizens to denounce the government's alleged systematic arrests of journalists, civil rights activists and opposition politicians.

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