Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has defended German duo Mesut Ozil and Ilkay Gundogan after the pair came under fire following a meeting with the Turkish president.

Ozil and Gundogan, who both have Turkish roots, were photographed with Recep Tayyip Erdogan and many fans believe the players were making a political statement about dual nationality and national identity.


Gundogan offered the President a signed shirt with the message, "To my president, with my respects" written on the back, despite the fact that Gundogan was born in Germany.

Klopp was asked about the incident during an interview with German outlet Sport Bild and was quick to defend the two players, saying: "The intelligent people of this country demand tolerance. And the others should shut up and not question the boys.

"Both were certainly not very well advised in this matter. Older, more experienced people should have helped them there.


"We should not forget that the two of them have Turkish roots even though they grew up here in Germany.

"But it is the same as always: the one who cries the loudest is the one who hears the most. But that's never been my thing."

Ozil and Gundogan, who play for Arsenal and Manchester City respectively, were booed by German fans before the World Cup, with many fans calling for the pair to withdraw from the national team.


Gundogan insisted the meeting was not politically motivated, telling news agency ZDF: "We were there because all Premier League players with Turkish roots had been invited to a charity event, and that's where the photo was taken.

"We have a strong connection to Turkey but that doesn't mean we would ever claim that Mr. (Frank-Walter) Steinmeier isn't our president or that Angela Merkel isn't our chancellor."

Germany endured a disastrous World Cup campaign, failing to emerge from the group stage in their attempts to retain the World Cup. Defeats to Mexico and South Korea condemned the Germans to one of the darkest days in their recent sporting memory.