Published: Tue, May 15, 2018
Worldwide | By Lisa Hogan

German outrage after football stars pose with Turkish President Erdogan

German outrage after football stars pose with Turkish President Erdogan

There were angry protests on the streets of London as Mr Erdogan delivered a speech at the Chatham House think-tank.

DFB president Reinhard Grinded said: "The DFB of course respects the special situation for our players with migrant backgrounds, but football and the DFB stands for values that Mr. Erdogan does not sufficiently respect".

"In doing that, our players have certainly not helped the DFB's work on integration". As Germany internationals, we own up to the values of the DFB and are aware of our responsibility.

Erdogan´s visit comes just weeks before Turkey holds early parliamentary and presidential elections on June 24.

Cem Ozdemir, former leader of the German Green party and himself of Turkish origin, was also scathing.

The move is widely regarded as a plan to shore up his power in the country, and comes as worldwide pressure mounts on the president for his suppression of political dissent. Erdogan also said he also would be discussing regional and worldwide issues with May. 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".

Investors hammered Turkey's lira on Tuesday, sending it to a record low after President Tayyip Erdogan said he plans to take greater control of the economy after next month's election, deepening concerns about his influence on monetary policy.

"It's odd that German footballers would let themselves be used in the election campaign of a Turkish president who has so recently made disparaging remarks about Germany", Hans-Peter Friedrich, deputy speaker of the German parliament said.

Both players are preparing for next month's FIFA World Cup in Russian Federation, in which Germany is among the favorites.

"I don't think we should involve them, they are Turkish but are playing for another national team".

Asked about the photo, he added: "Our president Erdogan is visiting England and was an active footballer and he loves meeting Turkish football players especially, although he does meet foreign players in Turkey when he has the time".

"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.

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