The Netflix series Dogs of Berlin is accused of threatening Turkish-German football star Mesut Ozil by the Turkish community in Germany. The series also stereotypes the Turks as criminals.
Who was one of the best players of German national football team whom is Turkish-descent and also plays in the Premier League? The answer to that question is undoubtedly, Mesut Ozil.
There is a German series on Netflix called Dogs of Berlin. First episode of the series starts with a murder. A corrupt former NeoNazi German detective who happens to be near the murder scene realizes that the person murdered is Orkun Erdem whom is depicted at the very first scene as the best player in the German national football team who plays in the Premier League. Sports commentators talk about how Turkish public is angry with Orkun Erdem for choosing Germany rather than Turkey. Coincidently, that is exactly what Ozil had to face when he picked Germany. While everyone talks about the game on the following day with Turkey, Orkun Erdem gets murdered.
“Orkun Erdem character is definitely representing Mesut Ozil. He is the only person that went through my mind,” said freelance journalist and activist Tuba Sarialtin who was born and raised in Germany. She also points out that it is targeting Ozil especially after what he went through with German national team.
Ozil left German national football team after being grilled by German politicians, media and the public for meeting Turkish president Erdogan. The Turkish-descent star of Liverpol released a statement after the world cup catastrophe of Germany. He explained how he has always been discriminated. “When we win I am a German, when we lose I am all of the sudden Turkish,” Ozil said in his english-written statement. Ozil’s remarks revealed the extent of discrimination in Germany even at a national team level. His words drew so much sympathy through out the world, German football federation and others had to back down on him.
“I consider the series as a message to Ozil. It is kind of saying this would have happened to you,” said Sarialtin. She also points out that all the Turks she has talked to feel the same way.
A Turkish-German psychologist who asked not to be named also watched the whole series on Netflix. She says a lot of Germans hate Ozil for what he went through with the German national team and there are also far-right neoNazis who certainly want him dead. “Yes it could give them an idea to kill Ozil. Especially when the murderer gets away with the crime in the series,” she pointed out.
In the series, the corrupt cop who assumed the investigation never revealed the real murderer and blamed it on a Arab mafia boss in order to cover his own corruptions.
The problem with Dogs of Berlin is not limited to targeting Mesut Ozil. The series also stereotypes Turks and Arabs as criminals. The only good Turkish character in the series is a police officer who is gay. And Turks believe there is a purpose to portray the only good Turkish guy as a gay person.