Shortly before the election: Mesut Özil posts a photo with Erdogan again
It was an image that finally led to Mesut Özil’s resignation from the national team: Özil handed Recep Tayyip Erdogan a jersey. Five years later, the ex-soccer player again posted a photo of himself and the Turkish President.
For Mesut Özil it was the beginning of the end of his career as a German national soccer player: A photo with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan a few weeks before the elections in Turkey in 2018. Now Özil has another photo with Erdogan on his social media Accounts published – shortly before the presidential election.
On Twitter, the former national player posted a picture of himself standing next to Erdogan and shaking his hand with a smile. Above the photo is written: “We are always with you, Mr. President”. Also on his Instagram profile Mesut Özil published the recording. Posts with heart emojis as well as critical voices collect in the comment columns.
Erdogan is behind Kılıçdaroğlu in polls
Erdogan has been in power in Turkey since 2002 and has never lost a parliamentary election. But that could change in Sunday’s presidential election. In polls, the president lags behind Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, the candidate of the Kemalist-social-democratic CHP, Turkey’s largest opposition party. The photo of Mesut Özil and Recep Tayyip Erdogan can therefore be interpreted as support for the current Turkish President – so close to the vote.
When Mesut Özil and İlkay Gündoğan presented Turkish President Erdogan with a jersey in 2018 and published a photo with him, it was not well received by the German Football Association. Shortly before the nomination for the World Cup, the picture caused displeasure at the time. “As the DFB, we respect the personal situation of our players with a migration background, which is sometimes by no means easy, but football must be lived by values, and where Mr Erdogan is responsible, these values are not lived sufficiently, and that’s why you can’t get involved for election campaign purposes abused,” said DFB President Reinhard Grindel at the time to the “Deutschlandfunk“.
Disputed and admired
The football genius from Gelsenkirchen resigns: the stages of Mesut Özil’s career in pictures
After the photo in 2018, a racism debate broke out and Mesut Özil resigned from the national team squad. The Green politician Cem Özdemir criticized in an interview with “Welt” in 2020 that Özil had never really distanced himself from the picture with Recep Tayyip Erdogan.