World

Erdogan to tighten grip on Turkish economy, rate policy

Erdogan to tighten grip on Turkish economy, rate policy

Photos taken in London show the players handing jerseys to the Turkish president and were published on social media on Monday by Erdogan's ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party).

"For my honoured President, with great respect", read Gundogan's jersey. Ozil and Gundogan were born in Germany but have family roots in Turkey.

Football and the DFB defend values which are not sufficiently respected by Mr Erdogan.

"From the side of the federation, it was made clear to them that it was an unfortunate action".

On Tuesday, both Ozil and Gundogan were named in Germany's preliminary 27-man squad for next month's World Cup by coach Joachim Low, while Mario Gotze was left out. Both Ozil and Gundogan are in that squad.

Erdogan's government says the crackdown follows the rule of law and aims to remove coup supporters from state institutions and other parts of society.

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

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DFB soccer federation President Reinhard Grindel, who said earlier the players had been used by Erdogan in his campaign for the June 24 presidential and parliamentary elections in Turkey, said he believed the two knew they had made a mistake. Many German politicians have also criticised the footballers, questioning their loyalty to German democratic values.

"The players, who as national players have to set an example, were in a situation that invited misunderstanding", said the spokesman, Steffen Seibert.

German national team's coordinator Oliver Bierhoff said that he would talk with the players over the issue.

In an editorial, the national Bild newspaper called the players "political idiots, but football geniuses".

In a statement on the Turkish Football Federation's website, Demiroren added: "It is a very well known fact that our president... as a former player, is a big football fan who has massively contributed to the progress of the game in Turkey". However, he said: "They were unaware of the symbolism of these pictures, but we can not endorse it, and we will discuss the matter with the players".

"Our close relationship with Turkey allows us to have frank discussions and you can expect the prime minister to discuss human rights when they speak later today", the spokesman told reporters.


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