Kerem Demirbay denies pledging Turkey allegiance before Germany call
Hoffenheim midfielder Kerem Demirbay has said that he was not aware he pledged allegiance to Turkey before opting to accept Germany head coach Joachim Low's invitation to take part in the 2017 Confederations Cup.
Demirbay, 23, has been one of the key figures as Hoffenheim have secured Champions League qualification from the Bundesliga this season.
The Germany-born son of a half-Turkish mother and a Turkish father was one of six debutants to be called up to Low's largely experimental Confederations Cup squad on Wednesday and gladly accepted the invitation.
However, soon after Low's announcement, the Turkish Football Federation (TFF) leaked a letter dated May 15 and signed by the Hoffenheim midfielder in which he pledged allegiance to Turkey.
While Demirbay did not deny the letter existed, his agents released quotes from their client in which he claimed to have "signed the letter without verifying its content."
On the actual content of the letter, which claimed that he held passports for both countries, Demirbay said: "The facts in the letter are false. I only have German citizenship and thus would not be eligible to play for Turkey anyway."
The TFF had hoped Demirbay would make his Turkey debut in the World Cup qualifier against Kosovo in June, but he is now set to feature for Germany.
"I have opted to play for Germany because I was born and raised here and I identify with the Germany team," Demirbay said. "When I received the call, I couldn't believe it at first."
Stephan Uersfeld is the Germany correspondent for ESPN FC. Follow him on Twitter @uersfeld.