Germany slam Ozil and Gundogan over photos with Turkey's Erdogan

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Germany slam Ozil and Gundogan over photos with Turkey's Erdogan

Ozil and Gundogan, German internationals of Turkish heritage, have been criticised for their part in the situation. "That's why it's not good our national team players allowed themselves to be misused for his election campaign maneuvers".

Germany worldwide team-mates Ozil and Gundogan, who are of Turkish descent, had their picture taken with the country's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in London on Sunday.

But he added the players "didn't help the DFB's integration work".

Arsenal's Ozil and Manchester City's Gundogan posed for photos on Sunday in London with President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. As German national players, we confess to the values of the DFB and are aware of our responsibility. Veteran Greens lawmaker Cem Ozdemir, with Turkish roots, described them as tasteless and embarrassing. Gundogan later said he had not meant to make a political statement or get involved in an election campaign.

Germany team coordinator Oliver Bierhoff also expressed concern over the photos and said he would speak with the players.

"I have no doubts over the desire of either Mesut or Ilkay to play for Germany and identify with our values", said Bierhoff. "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 seen in the images below, the pair were pictured with Turkey president Tayyip Erdogan, who has received criticism and widespread condemnation amid ongoing measures following elections to tighten his grip on control of the country.

Both players will be spoken to ahead of Germany's World Cup preparations. "We should not involve them in our campaign", he told AFP in London on Monday. Turkey holds presidential and parliamentary elections on June 24, after which a new constitutional system comes into force which hands the president much greater powers than before.

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