BEIRUT, LEBANON (10:50 A.M.) – Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan backed Mesut Ozil’s decision to quit international football, speaking from Ankara on Tuesday.
Erdogan revealed that he met with Ozil, and congratulated him on the decision to leave the German national team. Erdogan also blasted Germany’s alleged “no toleration” towards ethnic Turk players, such as Ozil, Ilkay Gundogan and Cenk Tosun.
“Mesut’s attitude is largely accepted by the main figures of the politics. We are standing behind Mesut,” said Erdogan.
Ozil retired from international football at the age of 29, citing ‘disrespect, insults and pressure’. He and teammate Ilkay Gundogan were widely criticised for posing in a photograph alongside Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, with many questioning their loyalty to German ‘values’.