Berlin (AP) - German international Ilkay Gündogan and Emre Can have defended themselves for their reaction to a controversial photo of saluting Turkish footballers.
"Believe me, after last year, the last thing I wanted to do was make a political statement," said 28-year-old Gundogan just before his start-up appearance in a 3-0 win in the European Championship qualifier in Estonia, to which he contributed two goals. "That was a clear statement from Ilkay for Germany," said coach Joachim Loew to double the midfielder.
Previously, both Gündogan and Can had a photo on Instagram of a so-called "Like" showing Turkish footballers saluting with their hands on their foreheads after scoring Cenk Tosun's 1-0 win against Albania. The military salute was dedicated to the soldiers deployed at Operation Friedensquelle, the Turkish Football Association said. The Turkish military mission is directed against the Kurdish militia YPG in northern Syria and is criticized internationally sharply.
Gündogan and Can took their likes back on Instagram later. He had acted "without any intention and to pay attention to the content," Can told the "Bild" newspaper, adding: "I am an absolute pacifist and against any kind of war." National coach Loew asserted, "If you can knows both, then you know that they are against war and against terror. »
Gündogan emphasized that he had "deliberately withdrawn" Like for the controversial picture when he saw that his reaction was "politically evaluated. It is true that I was happy for my former team-mate from the DFB U21, that he made the winning goal. "Last year, the professional from Manchester City was in front of the World Cup for a joint photo with the Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan Criticism advised.
Also Bundesliga club Fortuna Dusseldorf joined in the vortex for the victory cheering Turkish national team. The Fortuna professionals Kaan Ayhan and Kenan Karaman said in a conversation with the club, the gestures in the game against Albania were just "solidarity statement for soldiers and their relatives." Turkish players, including Ayhan (24) and Karaman (25), also saluted the forehead on a team photo in the cabin.
Fortuna Dusseldorf wants the events of Friday evening with his two professionals after their return from the international match work up again. The club was "convinced that they had no choice but to make a political statement," sporting director Lutz Pfannenstiel was quoted.
The European Football Union (UEFA) wants to wait for the official match report from the game before deciding on a possible investigation into the matter. The statutes of the umbrella association prohibit political statements and gestures on the pitch in UEFA competitions.
Recently, a solidarity statement from the second league pros Cenk Sahin from FC St. Pauli for the Turkish military has caused a stir. Sahin had posted in Turkish: "We are on the side of our heroic military and armies. Our prayers are with you! »Attached is the name of the military operation. The club distanced itself from the Instagram post. The St. Pauli Ultras demanded the immediate release of Sahin.
He told Turkish media that he would not delete his reaction on the Internet. After his return to the club, the situation will be clarified, assured Sahin.
Turkish Football Federation
Report of the "Bild" newspaper