German soccer stars under fire for posing with Turkish President

Germany’s DFB soccer federation and several German politicians have criticized two top national soccer players for posing for a photo with Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan, whose policies have come under fire in Europe.
 
DFB President Reinhard Grindel said the federation respected the special situation of the players, Mesut Ozil and Ilkay Gundogan, who have Turkish roots, but said they had been used by Erdogan in his campaign for next month’s elections in Turkey.
 
Relations between the European Union and Turkey have deteriorated over the past two years amid a crackdown by Erdogan’s government on suspected supporters of a failed military coup in July 2016.
 
TFF Turkish Football Federation Vice President Servet Yardimci, a UEFA Executive Committee member, said Erdogan liked meeting soccer players but that Ozil and Gundogan were not part of the election campaign.
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