Footballer Mesut Özil said Sunday he regrets nothing of his controversial photo with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who raised questions about his loyalty to the German national team before the World Cup
"Like many people, my lineage goes back more than a country, and while growing up in Germany, my family background has its roots in Turkey," he said.
"I have two hearts, one German and one Turkish."
Ozil, 29, said He had met Erdogan for the first time in 2010, after President and German Chancellor Angela Merkel made a German-Turkish game in Berlin had viewed.
"Since then, our paths around the world have crossed many times," he said  I am Awa The image of us has resonated in the German media, and while some accuse me of lying or being fraudulent To be, the picture we made had no political intentions.
– & # 39; Not on Politics –  Ozil said that despite the timing of the picture with his teammate Ilkay Gundogan and Erdogan – just before the president won reelection in a poll, it far-reaching new powers brought – "it was not about politics or elections I respect the highest office of the country of my family. "
" My job is a footballer and not a politician, and our meeting was not a confirmation of any policy, "said Ozil.
" I understand that this is difficult to understand as the political leader in most cultures can not be considered as separate from the person. But in this case it is different. Whatever the outcome of these earlier elections or the elections before, I still would have made the picture.
More than three million people of Turkish descent live in Germany.
Özil and Gündogan, both of Turkish origin, were booed by German fans in World Cup friendlies after playing against Erdogan in London in May  Manchester City midfielder Gundogan handed him a signed club shirt on which he had "written to my president"
After the tournament Özil came for heavy criticism in Germany because of the shocking defeat of the first round at the World Cup.
Team manager Oliver Bierhoff suggested after the debacle that Germany after its failure should consider the overthrow of Özil
Bierhoff went back later and said that he was "wrong" to put Özil under excessive pressure, but the image offset the Fans in the social media continue to be contemptuous.
Meanwhile, former Captain Lothar Matthaeus accused Ozil of turning in German shirt no longer comfortable.
– "Right Propaganda" –
Ozil said he could hold criticism of his performance on the pitch, but not if it was related to his ethnicity Background
"If a newspaper or an expert in one Game in which I play, find mistakes, then I can accept that, "he said.
"But what I can not accept is German media, which blame me repeatedly – heritage and a simple image for a bad World Cup on behalf of a whole team," he added, calling it "right-wing propaganda."
"This crosses a personal line that should never be crossed as newspapers try to turn the nation of Germany against me."
Angrily he denounced the broadside of Matthew he said "a few days ago with a Another world leader met and received almost no media criticism, "in an apparent reference to an appearance with Russian President Vladimir Putin
Ozil also ranted against an unnamed sponsor, who he helped remove him from promotional videos for the World Cup, after the pictures with Erdogan originated.
"It was not good for them to be seen with me and they called the situation, crisis management & # 39 ;," he said.
Özil, 29, because of violent first-year defeat at the World Cup in Germany for fierce criticism
Ilkay Gundogan and Mesut Özil's pose with President Erdogan caused a storm in Germany, which only escalated with the bad World Cup