MESUT OZIL has been slammed by German Chancellor Angela Merkel's chief of staff for inviting controversial Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan to his wedding.
The Gunners midfielder, 30, wants Erdogan as a witness to his marriage to former Miss Turkey Amine Gulse.
AP:Associated Press3 Ozil and Gulse controversially invited Erdogan to their wedding
But high-ranking German official Helge Braun has slated the decision, telling Bild it "makes one sad".
Braun accepted the decision of Ozil and Gulse was of a "private" nature, but suggested the "role model" was setting a bad example.
Erdogan's government has been criticised heavily by Germany, who are at odds over a range of human rights issues.
And Ozil was caught up in a political storm after being pictured with Erdogan in London last May – just weeks before Germany's horrendous World Cup campaign.
After learning of Ozil and Gulse's personally-delivered invite, Braun claimed: "The fact that this has continued will have disappointed a lot of football fans – me too!
"Footballers are symbolic figures in our society, with whom people identify with much more than ministers.
"And so the question is raised: how much does someone wearing the German national jersey stand for Germany?"
Third-generation German Ozil – who earned 92 caps during his career – suddenly quit international duty in July 2018, accusing national football chiefs of racism.
At the time, the ex-Real Madrid star said: "I am German when we win, an immigrant when we lose."
Now lawmaker Alexander Graf Lambsdorff has slated Ozil's decision to further fan the flames.
MORE ARSENAL STORIESGossipHec of a deal Arsenal miss out on Ramsey replacement as Herrera agrees to join Atletico Live Bloggunners news Arsenal transfer news LIVE – Latest updates from the Emirates HARRY'S MERSE How old is Paul Merson and who is ex-Arsenal star's wife? ALRIGHT RAY How old is Ray Parlour and was his nickname the 'Romford Pele'? not den enough Arsenal to dump disastrous Suarez and send on-loan midfielder back to Barca GUNNED DOWN Arsenal transfer plans in chaos as Overmars joins Monchi in snubbing role GUNNER GET BETTER Merson thanks fans after revealing gambling left him 'like crack addict' ALL FOUR ONE Man Utd, Chelsea, Arsenal and Spurs fans should all want City to win FA Cup GossipDjene from the block Emery jets in to watch Djene and leaves wanting £30m ace at Arsenal RevealedBY THE NUMBERS Emery has a better record than Solskjaer after first 19 games in charge RAIL RAGE Arsenal fans react badly as station closest to Spurs ground to be renamed
Lambsdorff said: "The wedding is the private matter of Mesut Ozil, but he is a world star, who people look up to, so of course it's a pity from a political point of view."
German politician Cem Ozdemir – whose parents are Turkish – added the decision to invite Erdogan was "inappropriate".
Ozil and Gulse announced their engagement in June last year, having been officially dating since 2017.
Instagram3 Ozil will marry Amine Gulse having proposed last year
AFP3 Ozil controversially met Erdogan in London in May last year