Mesut Ozil says not having picture with Turkish president would be ‘disrespectful’
Ilkay Gundogan and Mesut Ozil, along with Everton’s Cenk Tosun, pose with the Turkish president

Arsenal midfielder Mesut Ozil says he no longer wants to play international football for Germany.

In a lengthy statement, the 29-year-old said treatment he had received from the German Football Association (DFB) had made him “no longer want to wear the German national team shirt”.

He also claimed he was being blamed for Germany’s disappointing World Cup.

In May, Ozil was criticised after being photographed with Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan at a London event.

Ozil attended the event with fellow Germany international Ilkay Gundogan. Both Ozil and Manchester City’s Gundogan are of Turkish descent.

Ozil says he and Gundogan talked about football with the president.

Afterwards, photographs were released by Turkey’s governing AK Party in the build-up to elections in the country, which Erdogan won outright.

Many German politicians questioned Ozil and Gundogan’s loyalty to German democratic values.

Germany has previously criticised the Turkish leader’s crackdown on political dissent following a failed coup.

Ozil said he would have been “disrespecting his ancestors’ roots” had he not posed for photographs with the Turkish president.

He added that he and his family had received hate mail, threatening phone calls and comments on social media.

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