Grindel took to Twitter to say, “Football and the DFB stand for values that are not sufficiently respected by Mr Erdogan,” and added, ‘’Our players have not helped our integration work.”
Veteran Greens lawmaker Cem Özdemir, who also has Turkish roots, described the photos of the players as being ‘’tasteless and embarrassing.’’
Social Democrat deputy leader Ralf Stegner said,” Posing with the Turkish president is not exemplary behaviour and is not appropriate for German national players.”
A commentary in Germany’s top-selling Bild, which ran the photos on its front page, even went as far as saying: “If you have a moral position, you don’t laugh into the camera with Erdogan. The main question is whether the two German national players still fit into our German team. I say yes. They are political idiots. But football geniuses.”
Gündogan later said that he did not intend to make a political statement or get involved in an election campaign.
Turkey’s presidential and parliamentary election next month will usher in a new constitutional system, allowing the president much more extensive powers.
TFF Turkish Football Federation Vice President Servet Yardimci, a UEFA Executive Committee member, noted that Erdoğan enjoyed meeting soccer players but that Özil and Gündoğan were not part of the election campaign, eurosport said.