Can, 24, represents Germany at international level, but comes from a family of Turkish extraction, and was expected to be one of the big names photographed alongside Erdoğan yesterday afternoon.
Arsenal’s German international Mesut Ozil went along to meet the autocratic leader, and so did Man City’s Ilkay Gundogan and Everton’s Turkey striker Cenk Tosun.
Cumhurbaşkanımız Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, çeşitli temaslarda bulunmak üzere gittiği İngiltere'nin başkenti Londra'da Premier Lig'de oynayan Türk futbolcu Cenk Tosun, Türk asıllı futbolcu Mesut Özil ve Türk asıllı futbolcu İlkay Gündoğan'ı kabul etti. pic.twitter.com/X3ZY8wwCsa
— AK Parti (@Akparti) May 14, 2018
But, according to Turkish news outlet Welt, Can was also invited to the meet-and-greet by refused the invitation out of principle, and didn’t want to be photographed alongside such a controversial statesman, who has previously been accused of imprisoning critical journalists, as well as subduing vocal opponents with different political opinions.
Can has been named in the preliminary Germany squad for this summer’s World Cup in Russia, but Erdoğan’s Turkey won’t be present at the tournament after failing to qualify.
What do you make of Can’s stance?