Arda retires from Turkey duty following alleged bust-up with journalist
Turkey captain Arda Turan has announced his retirement from international football in the wake of an alleged altercation with a journalist.
The 30-year-old is said to have been ejected from the squad following an incident on the flight back from Monday's 0-0 friendly draw with Macedonia.
The Barcelona midfielder is reported to have been furious that Milliyet journalist Bilal Mese was allowed to travel on the plane, due to media reports that circulated following Turkey's exit from Euro 2016 alleging infighting between players and a dispute with the Turkish Football Federation (TFF) over bonuses.
It is claimed the Turkey captain, who was angered last year by media and fan criticism of his performances in France and was dropped from the squad last August, had to be restrained after grabbing Mese and swearing at him.
The 30-year-old later took to his official Instagram page to state that he could not forgive what he considers to be "slander" against him and his family, although he did not confirm what is said to have taken place on the flight.
Following a meeting with TFF officials, Arda has now confirmed that he will not be involved in the 2018 World Cup qualifier against Kosovo on Sunday and has decided to step aside from his national-team commitments.
"We talked with the president of the TFF and decided not to be involved in the Kosovo match," he told a news conference. "I have done wrong while wearing the jersey of my national team.
"I am giving up my career with the national team. I speak as someone who has served the national team with every step and who loves his country."
In his lengthy Instagram post responding to the alleged incident, Arda wrote: "Did I do right yesterday? I don't know!!!
"Maybe it is not right, but is at least honest, honourable behaviour. Did I get an answer? No. He wrote about it for months but didn't say any words to my face."