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Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan meets with Premier League soccer players Ilkay Gundogan of Manchester City, Mesut Ozil of Arsenal and Cenk Tosun of Everton in London, Britain May 13, 2018. Kayhan Ozer/Presidential Palace/Handout via REUTERS

(reuters_tickers)

ANKARA (Reuters) - Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan said on Tuesday the treatment of Mesut Ozil was unacceptable after the football star quit Germany's national team.

"Such a racist treatment towards a young man who has given his all to the German national team for his religious beliefs is unacceptable," Erdogan told reporters in parliament.

He said he spoke to Ozil on Monday night and described his approach as "beyond any form of admiration", adding that Ozil's critics "could not stomach" the photograph of the football star and Erdogan that prompted criticism ahead of the World Cup.

(Reporting by Gulsen Solaker; Writing by Tuvan Gumrukcu; Editing by Dominic Evans)

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Reuters