German football stars criticized over photos with Erdogan

The German Football Federation (DFB) has criticized its internationals Mesut Özil and Ilkay Gündogan for posing in photos with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the BBC reports.

The two German-born players, both of Turkish origin, gave Mr Erdogan signed shirts at an event in London on Sunday.

Gündogan wrote: “For my honored President, with great respect.” Mr Erdogan is campaigning for re-election.

Özil plays for Arsenal and Gündogan for Manchester City.

Both players are preparing for next month’s FIFA World Cup in Russia, in which Germany is among the favorites. Turkey did not qualify.

Many German politicians have also criticized the footballers, questioning their loyalty to German democratic values.

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