Berlin (AFP) – Arsenal’s German midfielder Mesut Ozil has been criticised for reportedly inviting Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to his wedding as his witness.
Bild on Sunday ran the story on its front page with Ozil, 30, and his model fiancee Amine Gulse, 25, a former Miss Turkey, pictured inside presenting Erdogan with an invite to their wedding this summer.
Ozil, who has Turkish family roots, sparked controversy last May when he was photographed with Erdogan, raising questions about his loyalty to Germany on the eve of their disastrous World Cup campaign.
He quit the national squad soon after, accusing German football officials of racism.
Bild did not disclose the wedding date in the report which stated Ozil wants Erdogan to attend as his witness.
The reported invite drew sharp criticism in Germany, whose government has been sharply a odds with Ankara over a range of human rights questions in recent years.
“I think it’s inappropriate,” German politician Cem Ozdemir, whose parents are Turkish, told Bild on Sunday.
“Everyone is allowed to invite who they want to their wedding,” he said. “That also obviously applies to Mesut Ozil, but former and current national team players are also role models.
“They must ask themselves if they live up to that role, when they give themselves up to autocrats, who enrich themselves at the expense of their country and make dissenters disappear into pits.”
Ozil has dated Gulse since 2017 and the couple announced their engagement in June 2018.
The Arsenal midfielder, a third-generation German, sparked controversy when he was pictured alongside Erdogan last May, raising questions about his loyalty to Germany on the eve of their disastrous World Cup campaign in Russia.
Criticism intensified after the red-faced defending champions crashed out of the first round of the World Cup.
In the wake of the World Cup fiasco, Ozil announced his resignation from the national squad in a withering statement citing “racism and disrespect”, aimed partly at German Football Association president Reinhard Grindel.
200+ Channels With Sports & News
- Starting price: $33/mo. for fubo Latino Package
- Watch Premier League, World Cup, Euro 2024 & more
- Includes NBC, USA, FOX, ESPN, CBSSN & more
Live & On Demand TV Streaming
- Price: $69.99/mo. for Entertainment package
- Watch World Cup, Euro 2024 & MLS
- Includes ESPN, ESPN2, FS1 + local channels
Many Sports & ESPN Originals
- Price: $6.99/mo. (or get ESPN+, Hulu & Disney+ for $13.99/mo.)
- Features Bundesliga, LaLiga, Championship, & more
- Also includes daily ESPN FC news & highlights show
2,000+ soccer games per year
- Price: $4.99/mo
- Features Champions League, Serie A, Europa League & NWSL
- Includes CBS, Star Trek & CBS Sports HQ
175 Premier League Games & PL TV
- Starting price: $4.99/mo. for Peacock Premium
- Watch 175 exclusive EPL games per season
- Includes Premier League TV channel plus movies, TV shows & more
- ESPN wants FIFA 2030 World Cup rights
- Record crowd sees England women off to winning start at Euro 2022
- Veteran France keeper Mandanda joins Rennes after Marseille exit
- Italy’s Pessina moves to ambitious Monza on loan
- Adams joins American contingent at Leeds
- Veteran France keeper Mandanda set for Rennes after Marseille exit
- Chelsea closing in on deal for Man City’s Sterling – reports
- Belgium golden generation’s last chance at winning World Cup
- Dortmund swoop for Haller to fill Haaland void
- Frenkie de Jong not for sale, says Barca chief