Right-wing tattoo: Özil photos cause a stir


Right-wing tattoo: Özil photos cause a stir

Mesut Ozil.

Photo: dpa

A fitness trainer publishes photos of former world champion Mesut Özil on the Internet. A detail triggers great outrage.

Istanbul. Photos from Mesut Ozil, which are supposed to show the former football world champion with a wolf tattoo, are causing a stir on the Internet. Because of the image, Özil is accused of showing right-wing extremist symbolism. In pictures shared by Turkish fitness trainer Alper Aksac on Instagram on Saturday, Özil’s chest features a tattoo depicting three crescent moons and a howling wolf – these are symbols of the “Gray Wolves“. The supporters of the right-wing extremist “Ülkücü movement”, which is observed in Germany by the Office for the Protection of the Constitution, are referred to as “grey wolves”.

Özil himself has not distributed the photos and was asked to comment by an advisor. The 34-year-old’s verified Instagram account liked Aksac’s post. Whether the image on Özil’s chest is a permanent tattoo could not be clarified independently. Users reacted with outrage to the photos and accused Özil of racism, among other things. On his own Twitter profile, Özil also shows a photo of himself with a bare chest and the World Cup after the triumph with the German national team in Rio de Janeiro in 2014.

Mesut Özil is a self-confessed supporter of Erdogan

In addition to the three crescents and the wolf, the hand-formed so-called wolf salute is one of the best-known symbols of the “Ülkücü movement”. In Turkey, the ultra-nationalist MHP is their political representative and ally of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s AKP. Özil is a self-confessed supporter of Erdogan and last shared a photo with the Turkish President after his election victory at the end of May.

Özil announced his retirement from the DFB team in July 2018 after the World Cup in Russia, where the defending champions were eliminated in the group stage. The affair about controversial photos with Erdogan also played a role at the time, for which the professional had to take a lot of criticism at the time. At the time, Özil spoke of “racism”. (dpa)

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