Can launched the #MeTwo campaign as a reaction to German-Turkish football star Mesut Özil’s resignation from the German national team due to everyday racism.
31 Julio 2018 15:12
An immigrant activist has triggered a huge debate about everyday racism in Germany with the Twitter hashtag #MeTwo, a nod to the sexual harassment hashtag #MeToo that was born in the wake of allegations against disgraced Hollywood mogul, Harvey Weinstein.
Ali Can, a Turkish-born anti-racism campaigner in Germany, spoke on national TV about the ‘long overdue’ discussion that has seen thousands of tweeters share their experiences online.
Can launched the #MeTwo campaign on 25 July as a reaction to German-Turkish football star Mesut Özil’s resignation from the German national team due to everyday racism. Özil said ‘racism and disrespect’ had forced him to stop playing in the squad.
Just before the World Cup in Russia, Özil drew controversy for his decision to pose for photos with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who was on a visit in London while campaigning for re-election.
The move was widely seen as a political endorsement of Erdogan, who is accused of human rights abuses after a purge of state institutions, involving mass arrests and a clamp down on critics and journalists.
Outcry intensified after Germany’s hugely disappointing performance at the World Cup, where they bowed out of the competition by losing to South Korea. Ali Can said Özil would have drawn much less criticism had he scored a couple of goals.
The #MeTwo campaign has attracted around 60,000 tweets since Can launched it. Can said ‘MeTwo’ symbolised the feeling of being from two cultures - German and Turkish - ‘which do not contradict each other’. He repeated a phrase used by Özil: ‘I have two hearts, one German and one Turkish.’
In a tweet (in German) Can thanked those who shared their experiences of everyday racism in Germany. ‘The public debate has started... Thank you!’