Manchester City midfielder Ilkay Gundogan has defended himself after liking and then removing his like from Everton’s Cenk Tosun Instagram post.

Tosun scored the winning goal in Turkey’s 1-0 victory against Albania and proceeded to celebrate with a military salute.

The Turkish Striker posted the celebration on Instagram captioned: “For our nation, especially the ones who are risking their lives for our nation”

The celebration is believed to of gestured towards the ongoing conflict between Turkey and Syria.

The German had liked the post and sparked quite the controversy because of it.

Gundogan commented on the situation: “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.

“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 [Can, who also ‘liked’ and ‘unliked’ the picture] 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.”

With three games remaining in qualifying, Turkey come up against the world champions France in their next match.

The Blues forward may face Toffees teammates, Lucas Digne and Djibril Sidibe when the two nations face off.

Picture by Granada under Creative Commons License