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Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Ozil Sparks Controversy in Germany Reportedly Inviting Erdogan to His Wedding

The German footballer of Turkish descent left the national team last year following uproar over his meeting and posing for photos with Turkey’s president, widely criticised in Germany for his domestic policies. Almost a year later the scandal has been fuelled by reports of another photo-op.

Mesut Ozil, once a poster boy of the German national football team, has prompted a new wave of criticism over his public support of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, whom the Arsenal player apparently asked to be a guest of honour at his wedding.

Ozil Sparks Controversy in Germany Reportedly Inviting Erdogan to His Wedding

The top athlete, now playing for the English Premier League club, and his fiancée, Miss Turkey Amine Gulse, reportedly met the politician at Istanbul’s Atatürk Airport to hand him an invitation for their very special day. The photos from the meeting, which took place during the campaign ahead of the country’s 2019 local elections scheduled for 31 March, received massive attention in football-crazy Turkey and abroad.

Although Ozil resigned from the national team following the backlash for his relations with Erdogan, the recent report has prompted a row in Germany where Erdogan is defined by many journalists and politicians as an autocrat.

Angela Merkel’s chief of staff Helge Braun joined the backlash over this move, saying “The fact this is still going on will disappoint a lot of football fans, including me”.

The Greens’ leading figure Cem Özdemir, who like Ozil has a Turkish background, said that “everyone can invite whomever he wants to his wedding but pointed out that such role models should take their special status into account”.

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