Gundogan angry at media criticism over Tosun 'like'
İlkay Gündoğan attracted criticism for interacting with a controversial Cenk Tosun social media post this week, but he has defended himself.
Germany midfielder Ilkay Gundogan hit back after he was criticised for liking a supposedly politically charged social media post from Turkey striker Cenk Tosun, insisting he was only trying to "support" a friend.
'Journalism for clicks'
Everton forward Tosun scored a late winner in Turkey's 1-0 victory over Albania on Friday – he and team-mates celebrating with a military-style salute.
Those actions were widely interpreted as a gesture of support of Turkey's armed offensive against Kurds in Syria.
Tosun subsequently posted a photo of celebration on social media and Gundogan and Germany team-mate Emre Can 'liked' the upload.
But Gundogan – who has previously been pictured with Turkey's controversial president Recep Tayyip Erdogan – insists he was not trying to make a political statement by interacting with Tosun's post.
"It is blatant what is written these days is for clicks. I thought I liked a photo of a friend I've lived with in Manchester, who's having a tough time at Everton, barely playing, then scoring a goal and leading his team to victory," Gundogan told reporters after scoring a brace in Germany's 3-0 win over Estonia.
"Next, I believe 200,000 other people have liked this image, footballers from all over the world. Then we are the two picked and made a story out of. It's a pity.
"There was absolutely no political intention behind it. Emre and I are both consistent against any kind of war and terror, no matter where it takes place in the world.
"That's why it was only intended as a pure support for our friend."