Turkish ministers reacted positively to the news that Mesut Ozil would no longer play for Germany as long as he felt subjected to racism.
The Arsenal midfielder issued a lengthy statement on Sunday that did not hold back. He attacked senior members of the German FA, some of his sponsors and the Germany media for what he called racist attacks and scapegoating of him.
Ozil has been relentlessly criticised since meeting with Turkey’s president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, on the eve of the World Cup in Russia. When the Germans crashed out of the competition, Ozil was blamed despite not being the worst player in the squad by some distance.
After his statement, Turkish ministers were quick to issue their own, backing Ozil.
“I congratulate Mesut Ozil who by leaving the national team has scored the most beautiful goal against the virus of fascism,” Justice Minister Abdulhamit Gul wrote on Twitter.
— Abdulhamit Gül (@abdulhamitgul) July 22, 2018
“We sincerely support the honourable stance that our brother Mesut Ozil has taken,” added Turkey’s Sports Minister Mehmet Kasapoglu as he ‘liked’ the image of Ozil with Erdogan that started all this.
Ilkay Gundogan was also present at the meeting with Erdogan, however, he issued a statement apologising and has largely been left alone by the German press.