Mathias Rohe examines Mesut Özil’s racism allegations

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In an Interview with, Mathias Rohe explains whether Mesut Özil’s racism allegations in the form of a big sweeping blow against the DFB, the society and the media via Twitter are justified.

Özil’s statement, his image with Turkish President Erdogan did not have any political intentions, sounds very naive. Even as a footballer one could come up with the idea that this would have a political dimension – like Emre Can, who was invited, but didn´t come. Özil’s argumentation of respecting the tradition of his family is also very wrong, as through this he blames everyone who is of Turkish descent and doesn´t take the picture for not respecting the roots of his parents.

Without any doubt, racism is involved in Özil’s case. According to Rohe however, it is very inappropriate to accuse all critics of racism. There are long-term surveys proving an always existing basic potential of racism, which tends to increase now. Relatively new are the taboo breaks taking place outside of right-wing extremist circles, which gradually infiltrate into parts of the center.

By his sweeping blow of the racism allegations, Özil was basically outrageous, the whole thing was a total disaster, Rohe explains. But one must also honestly say that the crisis management of the DFB was beneath contempt – resignations would be due now. The case of Özil does not only have a small impact, Rohe says – he knows about young Turks who weren´t Erdogan supporters at all, but felt personally attacked by the overarching attacks on Özil.

The problem is that there is a debate situation in which a fundamental discussion was triggered immediately, according to the motto: Are the Turks integrated at all? One should not attach too much importance to Özil´s case: He is a young man who might also have fallen into megalomania a bit by comparing himself to the English Prime Minister and the Queen – obviously not understanding that they have to speak to politicians like Erdogan ex officio. With Mesut Özil one can recognize an excess of self-pity, he obviously has no self-critical assessment and is looking for reasons why everyone but him had done something wrong.

As the German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said, the lifestyle of a multimillionaire living in England is not very meaningful for the success of integration in Germany. As long as one adheres to the common house rules, there can be colours and diversity.

But regarding the Turkish elections we should ask ourselves how it came that people living in Germany for a long time chose a man like Erdogan. The majority doesn´t support his concrete policy, for many he is saving the honor of the Turks, Rohe explains.