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Turks gather in a garden before the arrival of Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu before an election campaign rally for the upcoming Turkish referendum in Hamburg, Germany March 7, 2017. REUTERS/Fabian Bimmer - LR1ED371E5P6I

(reuters_tickers)

BERLIN (Reuters) - The majority of the roughly 3 million people with Turkish roots who live in Germany are well integrated, a spokeswoman for Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Monday, after German soccer star Mesut Ozil quit the national team citing racism.

Merkel's spokeswoman stressed that people with migrant backgrounds were welcome in Germany and added that the German chancellor valued Ozil.

The spokeswoman, who described Ozil as a great soccer player who had done a lot for the national team, said Merkel respected Ozil's decision to quit.

(Reporting by Michelle Martin and Riham Alkousaa; Editing by Maria Sheahan)

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Reuters