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Readers contemplate Oezil as a symbol of integration

Third generation Turkish-German Mesut Oezil recently said he was proud to be playing for the German team in Euro 2012. Readers wrote in with their opinions on whether this means integration is working in Germany.

Mesut Oezil lifts his foot high into the air to kick a ball

Oezil is a third generation German of Turkish descent

The following comments reflect the views of DW-WORLD.DE readers. Not all reader comments have been published. DW-WORLD.DE reserves the right to edit for length and appropriateness of content.

Oezil 'proud to play for Germany' ahead of Turkey clash

Is Mesut Oezil's playing for Germany against Turkey a sign of successful integration?

I think Oezil has it right. He is third-generation born in Germany. It is natural that he wants to play for his country of birth. It is interesting that, now that he plays for Real Madrid, the Spanish press refers to him as German, not Turkish. He is an excellent example of integration. On the other hand, I feel Hamit Altintop has it all wrong. His criticism of Oezil, hinting that he is an opportunist is absurd. He badly needs that somebody gives him a lesson in civics. On a related matter, it used to bother me that Oezil does not sing the German National anthem but I read your article and I am satisfied with his explanation that he is focusing on the game ahead while the anthem is playing. Birgit Prinz, the legendary women's football striker does not sing the anthem either, so perhaps, like Mesut she is also concentrating on the game ahead. -- Tony, Panama

I disagree with Mesut Oezil because he is indeed Turkish at the root of it. If I were Mesut Oezil, I would have played for the Turkish football team. I think that everyone should play in their own national team. Nationality is everything for me. -- Alparslan, Turkey

Yes it is. This situation is so strange for me. In my opinion he's German, he was born in Germany! For example, both my grandmother and my grandfather are from Spain and I do not feel, even a little Spanish. The same with my friend; she was born in the south of Brazil, in a German colony, but she is Brazilian. If we played football, of course that we would represent Brazil. Oezil is right, it wouldn't be fair to Germany who gave him a nationality, to play for Turkey. P.S., I love the German team, they play very well but it's second in my heart because the first is the Brazilian team! -- Laura, Brazil

Why don't you ask him directly? If I were him I would play for Germany, because I think Germany is now my country. By the way there is a proverb: Your homeland is not the land where are you born, but where you would like to die! -- Mesar

Compiled by Stuart Tiffen
Editor: Andrew Bowen

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