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Mesut Özil: Midfielder Arsenal leaves Germany over "racism and disrespect"



Ilkay Gundogan and Mesut Ozil and Everton's Cenk Tosun pose with the Turkish president

Arsenal midfielder Mesut Özil has given up international football and contrasted the "racism and disrespect" of his Turkish roots in Germany. [19659003] The 29-year-old was criticized after being photographed in May at a London event with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

He says he received hate mail and threats and was blamed for the disappointing World Cup in Germany.

"I'm German if we win, but I'm an immigrant if we lose," Özil said.

German football bosses have yet to respond to Ozil's allegations.

The third generation Turkish-German was born in Gelsenkirchen

He has played 92 caps and since 201

1 has been voted player of the year five times by fans.

But Ozil said his recent treatment had led him to "no longer want to wear the German National Team Jersey"

In a lengthy statement in the social media, he said he did not feel accepted in German society, even though he paid taxes, donate for good causes and was world champion.

Germany's football association, the DFB, was one of those who criticized Özil after being photographed with Erdogan.

"It is with a heavy heart and after many considerations that because of the recent events I will no longer play for Germany on an international level while I have this feeling of racism and disrespect", said the player.

"I wore the German jersey so proudly and excitedly, but now I do not do it anymore, I feel unintentional and think that what I have achieved since my international debut in 2009 has been forgotten."

Özil met Erdogan in May with fellow countryman Ilkay Gündogan, also a Manchester-based player from Manchester City, and Gundogan talked about football with the president.

After that, photos of the ruling AK Party of Turkey were released in the run-up to the elections in the country, which Erdogan won directly.

Many German politicians doubted the loyalty of Özil and Gündogan After a failed coup d'état Germany had previously criticized the suppression of political dissent by the Turkish head of state.

However, Ozil said he had "disregarded the roots of his ancestors" had he not photographed with the Turkish president.

"It was not about politics or elections, it was about respecting the highest office of my country's country," he added.

A Broader Social Problem for G Germany

There are about three million people of Turkish descent living in Germany – a point regularly debated in the country's political debate, where immigration and the rise of far-right parties is central to many are.

And Ozil asks questions in his explanation why other dual-heritage teammates have not been subjected to the same treatment.

"Is it because it's Turkey? Is it because I'm a Muslim? I think this is an important issue," he said.

German Social Democratic Justice Minister Katarina Barley said: "It is alarming when a great German footballer like Mesut Özil is no longer welcome in his country."

But Die Spielererklärung has also criticized Thomas Bareiss, a high-ranking German Chancellor Angela Merkel, member of the Christian Democrats, said he was "disrespectful" and "out of place".

A painful day for German football analysis

German football journalist Raphael Honigstein

I think the lack of support he receives from the German Football Association is a consequence of the scapegoat he faces exposed in parts of the German media, but also in the social media is the most technically savvy player of his generation feels no longer able to represent Germany, while he feels exposed to racism, makes it for the German football in general a very painful day.


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