Mesut Ozil says not having picture with Turkish president would be 'disrespectful'

Ozil has confirmed that he is retiring from international football with immediate effect following the

Ozil has confirmed that he is retiring from international football with immediate effect following the"treatment he received from the DFB

Mesut Ozil says he will no longer represent Germany at worldwide level.

Ozil, who posed for a photo with Erdogan alongside Manchester City midfielder Ilkay Gundogan and Everton striker Cenk Tosun, insisted that he was respecting his Turkish heritage and the public meeting "had no political intentions".

And in the concluding section of the statement on Sunday, Ozil confirmed he will no longer be available for selection by Germany coach Joachim Loew.

The German soccer team failed to make it out of the group stage of this year's World Cup in Russian Federation, making their earliest tournament exit in 80 years. Whether it had been the Turkish or the German President, my actions would've been no different.

"It is with a heavy heart and after much consideration that because of recent events I will no longer be playing for Germany at worldwide level whilst I have this feeling of racism and disrespect", Ozil said in a letter posted on social media.

"I used to wear the German shirt with such pride and excitement, but now I don't".

At the height of the row Ozil made no comment on his meeting in London with Erdogan, an outspoken critic of Germany who was campaigning for re-election at the time.

"Although the German media have portrayed something different, the truth is that not meeting with the President would have been disrespecting he roots of my ancestors, who I know would be proud of where I am today".

Ozil wrote that he "had two hearts, one German and one Turkish", and that his mother had taught him "to always be respectful and never forget where I came from". "If a newspaper or pundit finds fault in a game I play in, then I can accept this - I'm not a flawless footballer and this often motivates me to work and train harder".

Ozil said he could not accept "German media outlets repeatedly blaming my dual-heritage and a simple picture for a bad World Cup on behalf of an entire squad".

Some high-profile names, including Oliver Bierhoff and Ottmar Hitzfeld, suggested that the pair should not have been allowed to represent Germany at the World Cup due to their actions.

"In May, I met President Erdogan in London, during a charitable and educational event".

"For me, it didn't matter who was President, it mattered that it was the President".

Whatever the outcome would've been in this previous election, or the election before that, I would still have taken the picture.

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