‘I think the time has come…I am ending my career with the national team,’ the 30-year-old Barcelona midfielder, capped 96 times, said at a brief press conference in Slovenia, broadcast on Turkish television.
Turkish daily Hürriyet reported on Tuesday that Arda Turan lost his head on the journey back from Skopje, where Turkey had just drawn 0-0 with Macedonia.
They were about to take off for Italy where they have a training camp ahead of a meeting with Kosovo on Sunday when Turan went for a journalist on the flight who wrote stories about the 30-year-old midfielder during Euro 2016.
Before the flight took off he is reported to have approach veteran journalist Bilal Mese over stories written about the Turkey players last year alleging that they were claiming bigger bonuses to play for their country in the tournament.
Hürriyet has reported that Turan said: ‘Tell me Bilal Mese, were you there? Were you with us when you wrote about the bonuses issue? Who did I ask for money from? Who did ask I for bonuses from? Talk. Come on. Who made you write those reports?’
Hürriyet claims that Turan continued his rant with no reaction coming from team boss Fatih Terim, who was also on the flight. The Barcelona midfielder reportedly said: ‘What kind of a country is this? They allow you on to this plane. F*** those who allowed you on to this plane.
‘You thought I was like the others. Who did I beg for money from? You son of a b****. I’d quit football before allowing anyone to say anything against my honour, my family.’
Turan’s rant extended to the president of the Turkish football federation Yildirim Demiroren and the suggestion that he was behind the stories because he owns the newspaper that published them.
Some reports even suggest Turan grabbed hold of the journalist and began hitting him before he was restrained by team-mates.
After meeting with senior Turkish Football Federation officials Turan has reportedly been told to leave the team hotel and will not be involved in his country’s match on Sunday.