Turkey's President Erdogan wraps up first official United Kingdom visit

Anti-Erdogan protests

Ozil plays for UK's Premier League club Arsenal and Gundogan for Manchester City.

He has also called for a snap poll on 24 June.

"The DFB of course respects the special situation for our players with migrant backgrounds, but football and the DFB stands for values that Mr Erdogan does not sufficiently respect", said DFB chief Reinhard Grindel.

But Turkish Football Federation (TFF) chairman Yildirim Demiroren hit back by saying he had read Grindel's "slanderous" postings "with great sadness".

However, the DFB was far from impressed with their decision to pose for pictures with Erdogan, whose presidency has repeatedly come under scrutiny for alleged violations of human rights.

Erdogan, who is seeking another term, has been ruling Turkey for the last one and a half decades.

In a statement on the Turkish Football Federation's website, Demiroren added: "It is a very well known fact that our president... as a former player, is a big football fan who has massively contributed to the progress of the game in Turkey".

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"It is a awful mistake to mix politics with football as can be seen from the German president's example".

"In that sense, his meeting with Germany global Mesut Ozil and Ilkay Gundogan as well as Turkey worldwide striker Cenk Tosun...is only natural".

Ilkay Gundogan presents a jersey to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan before their meeting in London, United Kingdom on May 13, 2018.

And Demiroren also appeared to imply that his counterpart's comments might have been meant to impact the race to host Euro 2024.

"The Turkish Football Federation will engage in no such behaviour and will continue its bid for Euro 2024 to the end within the rules of UEFA", he said.

But the images caused a furore in Germany, with lawmaker Cem Ozdemir, himself of Turkish origin, reminding the players that "the president of an worldwide German footballer is called Frank-Walter Steinmeier", referring to the German head of state.

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