DFB chief slams Ozil, Gundogan photos with Turkish president

16 May, 2018, 08:35 | Author: Brenda Erickson
  • Erdogan 'East Jerusalem is Palestine's capital'

Senior officials from German Football Federation (DFB) slammed national players Mesut Ozil and Ilkay Gundogan for a picture taken with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

"In that sense, his meeting with Germany worldwide Mesut Ozil and Ilkay Gundogan as well as Turkey global striker Cenk Tosun...is only natural". Both also play for the German national team.

He also said Halkbank HALKB.IS executive Mehmet Hakan Atilla, who was found guilty by a US court of helping Iran evade USA sanctions, was innocent and Turkey wanted his acquittal.

Turkey's lira slid to a record low and bond yields briefly touched their highest in at least 8 years on Tuesday, after President Tayyip Erdogan said he plans to take greater control of the economy after elections next month. "The DFB of course respects the special situation for our players with migrant backgrounds, but football and the DFB stands for values that Mr. Erdogan does not sufficiently respect".

"That is why it is not good for our national players to be abused by his campaign manoeuvres". In doing that, our players have certainly not helped the DFB's work on integration.

"If Hakan Atilla is going to be declared a criminal, that would be nearly equivalent to declaring the Turkish Republic a criminal", he said.

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A referendum last year weakened the role of Parliament and gave the president sweeping authority in the most radical constitutional overhaul since the republic was founded 95 years ago.

Aktay also stressed that Erdogan, who is a former football player, met the players in a personal capacity and the meeting had nothing to do with the June elections. "Because it's those who rule the state who are accountable to the citizens", he added.

Dundar is one of many strains in the relations between Berlin and Ankara. Along with Everton's Cenk Tosun, Germany's star players posed for a photograph with Erdogan.

"They will hold the president accountable".

Cem Ozdemir, Green Party co-leader, tweeted: "It is distasteful and embarrassing for football millionaires to be homage for [Erdogan's] election campaign". "I say yes. They are political idiots, but football geniuses".

However, the DFB was far from impressed with their decision to pose for pictures with Erdogan, whose presidency has repeatedly come under scrutiny for alleged violations of human rights.

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