Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has come to Mesut Ozil’s defence by branding the ‘racist’ mistreatment of the Arsenal playmaker as ‘completely unacceptable’, following the 29-year-old’s decision to retire from international football with Germany after claiming to be a victim of racial abuse.
Ozil was pictured with Erdogan in London before the start of the 2018 World Cup and the seemingly innocuous meeting between the two individuals sparked outrage amongst German FA official and the German public, and Ozil rightly believes that the issue has since been dealt with in a demeaning, substandard manner.
The Gunners ace is a third generation Turkish-German, born in Gelsenkirchen and raised as a fledgling professional at FC Schalke 04, although following Die Mannschaft’s shoddy exploits in Russia, Ozil also disclosed that his family received hate mail, callous phone calls and malicious abuse on social media platforms.
The DFB rejected Ozil’s claims of racism, citing that they rigorously practice a transparent, inclusive approach when recruiting for the national set-up, regardless of background and religion.
Erdogan has previously been lambasted for allegedly abusing human rights laws and stifling the freedom of the press, but in an act of defiance in aid of the north-Londoners’ troubled metronome, the Turkish president – as quoted by Turkish newspaper Sabah (via Sky Sports) – said:
“Such a racist approach, due to his religion, towards a young person who gave everything for the German national team, contributing to its successes, was completely unacceptable.”
Yildirim Demiroren, president of the Turkish Football Federation, also opted to have his say on the controversial matter by telling the federation’s official website:
“I condemn the treatment, the threats and the humiliating messages that have been sent to him because of his origins.
“Every player should be protected against messages of humiliation, discrimination and hate.
“All members of the international football community should unite in destroying racism and intolerance – it must continue to fight tirelessly.”
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