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

Ozil and Manchester City’s Ilkay Gundogan – both Germany internationals of Turkish descent – were criticised by the German Football Association for meeting Recep Tayyip Erdogan in May.

In a statement, Ozil said it “was not about politics or elections”.

“I have two hearts, one German and one Turkish,” he said on Twitter.