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Ozil's explosive statement, in three separate postings on Twitter and Instagram, was hailed by Erdogan's government, which has championed a campaign against what Ankara sees as growing Islamophobia in Europe. Former Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand, capped 81 times by England, laconically tweeted his support for the Arsenal player, with the word "Respect" quoting a tweet of Ozil's statement.

And Boateng, who played alongside Ozil in the U21 Germany national team before opting for the Black Stars, expressed his support for the 2014 World Cup victor.

"Because more is at stake than just the future of the German national football team". "One world, one people". Speaking to reporters at parliament on Tuesday, Erdogan said that Ozil's approach had been "admirable" and that the player had "given his all" for the German national team.

Ozil stunned football at the weekend by announcing he planned never to play again for the national team after criticism he deemed to be racist of a meeting with Erdogan two months ago.

"He is trying to divert attention away from the real issue, the issue of racism and discrimination in Germany, which is resurging once again within everyday German society".

Authorities in Ozil's ancestral Turkish town have erected a new street sign showing the photo of him in May with Erdogan, replacing one picturing him wearing the worldwide strip of Germany, the country of his birth.

Mesut Ozil to take full part in Arsenal tour of Singapore
Emery also said he is enjoying working with Steve Bould, Arsene Wenger's longtime assistant who was kept on as part of the new backroom staff at the club.

"Last night I spoke to Mesut".

"It is with a heavy heart and after much consideration that because of recent events, I will no longer be playing for Germany at global level while I have this feeling of racism and disrespect", the player said.

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

Leon Goretzka, 23, Lars Stindl, 29, and Thomas Mueller, 28, have also played well for Germany in the attacking midfield role.

But he defended his actions by writing on Twitter: "For me, having a picture with President Erdogan wasn't about politics or elections, it was about me respecting the highest office of my family's country". We had one bed, but they would put a mattress on the floor for me to sleep.

Bayern Munich chief Uli Hoeness said he welcomed Ozil's retirement, saying: "I am glad that this scare is now over", the Bayern boss told Bild.