DFB criticises Mesut Ozil, Ilkay Gundogan for meeting Turkish Premier Recep Erdogan

Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan listens during a news conference with British Prime Minister Theresa May after their meeting at 10 Downing Street in London

German Football Federation (DFB) president Reinhard Grindel responded that global players should not let themselves be "manipulated" in Erdogan's election campaign. "That's why it's not good our national team players allowed themselves to be misused for his election campaign manoeuvres".

Turkey president Recep Tyyip Erdogan is now in England for a state visit and got a chance to meet Ozil who is of Turkish origin and posed for a photo.

"In doing that, our players have certainly not helped the DFB's work on integration". Photos of the meeting were used on social media by Erdogan's campaign team.

"As German internationals we adhere to the values upheld by the DFB and we are aware of our responsibilities", added Gundogan. Veteran Greens lawmaker Cem Ozdemir, with Turkish roots, described them as tasteless and embarrassing.

"In that sense, his meeting with Germany internationals Mesut Ozil and Ilkay Gundogan as well as Turkey global striker Cenk Tosun, who are all Germany-born professional footballers with Turkish descent, is only natural".

"The president of an worldwide German footballer is called Frank-Walter Steinmeier, his chancellor Angela Merkel and his parliament the Bundestag, the headquarters of which are in Berlin and not Ankara", Ozdemir told AFP subsidiary SID.

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German national team's coordinator Oliver Bierhoff said that he would talk with the players over the issue.

Turkey has called snap presidential and parliamentary elections for June 24 and polls show Erdogan as the strongest candidate to win the presidential vote.

With the Premier League season now all done and dusted, football fans are now switching their focus to this summer's World Cup in Russian Federation. However, he said: "They were unaware of the symbolism of these pictures, but we can not endorse it, and we will discuss the matter with the players".

President of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdogan has announced more state control in the country's fiscal and economic policy.

"We've always been clear that we want Turkey to uphold its worldwide obligations, including respect for freedom of expression and political freedoms", he said. "But I am also sympathetic towards them".

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