German FA criticise Ozil, Gundogan for being 'manipulated'

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Mr Erdogan received signed shirts from the two German-born players, both of Turkish origin.

Arsenal midfielder Mesut Ozil and Manchester City star Ilkay Gundogan have found themselves in hot water with the German Football Federation after posing for photographs with Turkey's president.

"President Erdogan has a very unorthodox view on the monetary policy arguing that if interest rates fall, inflation will decelerate as well", Rabobank's Piotr Matys wrote in a note to clients. "It certainly hasn't helped the DFB's integration efforts".

Erdogan is a keen soccer fan and as a young man played the game at a semi-professional level.

The EU has been strongly critical of Erdogan's government on suspected supporters of a failed military coup in July 2016.

Turkey has shut down media outlets, detained 160,000 people and sacked almost the same number of public employees.

Veteran Greens politician Cem Ozdemir, who has a Turkish background, described them as tasteless and embarrassing.

But the images caused a furore in Germany, with lawmaker Cem Ozdemir, himself of Turkish origin, reminding the players that "the president of an worldwide German footballer is called Frank-Walter Steinmeier", referring to the German head of state.

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A commentary in top-selling Bild, which ran the photos on its front page, said: "If you have a moral position, you don't laugh into the camera with Erdogan". As German national players, we confess to the values of the DFB and are aware of our responsibility. I say yes. They are political idiots.

Germany have been deemed as the favourites to win the World Cup in Russian Federation after their decent display in the last World Cup where they won the trophy.

President of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdogan has announced more state control in the country's fiscal and economic policy.

But Turkish Football Federation (TFF) chairman Yildirim Demiroren hit back by saying he had read Grindel's "slanderous" postings "with great sadness".

Gundogan insisted after the controversy he "didn't want to make a political statement with this photo and even less so campaign" in the election.

"We have to be fair, there is no intention whatsoever to get them involved", he told a briefing in London on Monday.

"I still have absolutely no doubts about Mesut and Ilkay's commitment to playing for the Germany national team and how much they identify with our values".

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