Turkey President Recep Tayyip Erdogan breaks silence on Arsenal star Mesut Ozil’s decision to quit Germany national team

Turkey President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has backed Arsenal star playmaker Mesut Ozil following his decision to retire from the Germany national team.

The 29-year-old courted controversy when he posed for photographs with Erdogan during the lead up to the 2018 World Cup. The situation went from bad to worse for Ozil after Germany crashed out of the competition in the group stage.

Ozil quit the national team on Sunday saying he has faced “racism and disrespect” over his Turkish roots.

Erdogan revealed that he spoke with Ozil on Monday and offered the Arsenal playmaker support.

Turkey’s President went onto criticise the way Ozil has been treated.

See More: Turkish Town Replace Arsenal Star’s German Team Photo On ‘Mesut Ozil Street’ After Race-Row

“On Monday night I spoke to Mesut. His attitude in the statement is completely patriotic,” Erdogan was quoted as saying by the BBC.

“It is not possible to accept this kind of racist attitude towards a young man who poured so much sweat for the German national team’s success. This cannot be tolerated.”

In a lengthy statement released on Monday, Ozil said he received hate mail and threats and was being blamed for Germany’s disappointing group-stage exit at the World Cup.

The third-generation Turkish-German was born in Gelsenkirchen and was a key member of his country’s 2014 World Cup-winning side.

He has 92 caps and has been voted the national team’s player of the year five times since 2011 by fans.

“I am German when we win, but I am an immigrant when we lose,” Ozil said. “I used to wear the German shirt with such pride and excitement, but now I don’t.”

Ozil returned to pre-season training with Arsenal ahead of schedule last week. The former Real Madrid star has travelled with the rest of the squad to Singapour and is available for selection when the Gunners take on Atletico Madrid tomorrow