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Germany star Ozil defends his photo with Turkish president

BERLIN (AP) Mesut Ozil has defended his decision to pose for a picture with Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, and attacked German media for what he called "double standards" in their treatment of people with Turkish roots.

The photo of Erdogan, Ozil and Manchester City's Ilkay Gundogan caused an uproar in Germany two months ago.

The head of Germany's soccer federation, Reinhard Grindel, accused the players - whose families came to Germany from Turkey - of allowing themselves to be "exploited" by Erdogan for political purposes before a snap Turkish election in June. Some German politicians questioned Ozil and Gundogan's loyalty and suggested they should be removed from the national squad ahead of the World Cup.

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