Arsenal’s Mesut Ozil and Manchester City’s Ilkay Gundogan, two German national football players of Turkish origin met Germany’s president and football heads on Sunday, in efforts to calm a row over photos taken with the Turkish president.
Photos taken in London showed the players handing jerseys to the Turkish president. The images were published on social media on Monday by Erdogan’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party).
The release of the photos triggered a reaction from German politicians from different parties and state officials who criticised the players for posing with Erdogan, many arguing that he did not respect “German values”.
Germany coach Joachim Loew told reporters following the meeting with Ozil and Gundogan on Monday that the two players contacted the DFB “to clear this issue up”.
“The German president suggested they meet him as well. There was a discussion. Now we can start talking about other things.”