Turkey: Ex-footballer, lawmaker supports Mesut Ozil

Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Mesut Ozil

The third-generation Turkish-German was born in Gelsenkirchen and was a key member of his country's 2014 World Cup-winning side.

Gundogan admitted that the meeting was not political, with Ozil's initial statement on Sunday confirming that his intentions were also not motivated by politics, merely respecting the position of president and the country of his ancestors.

Germany's star player, who has Turkish origins, has been criticized by German politicians and media outlets after he met Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in May, ahead of elections in Turkey. "I see the football player Mesut Ozil, and he didn't perform like before".

"Mesut Abi ('brother' in Turkish), your technique on the ball has opened the door to the national team for players like me", wrote Draxler on his Instagram account along with a picture of him and Ozil.

Authorities in the town have removed a street sign on "Mesut Ozil Avenue' of the playmaker wearing a Germany national team jersey. He is a great footballer who has contributed a great deal to the national team", said Merkel's spokeswoman Ulrike Demmer, adding that he has "now made a decision that must be respected".

Former England striker Ian Wright, himself an Arsenal icon, commended Ozil for voicing his concern on the matter, rejecting dismissive attitudes towards players speaking out, saying "you have our full support for speaking out on your experiences and issues that are so much bigger and more important than football".

Suspect identified in Toronto mass shooting that leaves 2 dead
Mayor John Tory said domestic trafficking must be addressed in light of what he called the city's "gun problem". Witnesses said they heard 20 to 30 shots. "That was the scary part", she said.

"Neither the national coach nor I were informed in advance", Loew's agent Harun Arslan confirmed to German daily Bild. It said: "We play and live together with our different family roots, our religions and cultures".

Germany's football association, the DFB, was among those to criticise Ozil after he had his photograph taken with Erdogan.

Ozil's decision to quit playing for Germany and his strongly-worded four-page statement caused uproar in Germany even as it was applauded by Turkish ministers. The DFB has so far stayed mum.

The photograph which initially sparked the controversy featuring Ozil and Erdogan has been erected in its place.

"Ultimately, Ozil did not fall because of Grindel but because of a heated, populist mood in Germany", it said. "Not only is he a disgrace to yourself, but also and more importantly a shame to German football and the people of Germany".

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