Turan quits Turkey’s national team after reported assault

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ANKARA, Turkey (AP) Turkey midfielder Arda Turan announced Tuesday that he is ending his international career after being dropped by the national team following a report that he assaulted a sports journalist aboard a plane.

Turkey coach Fatih Terim dropped the Barcelona midfielder and expelled him from a training camp in Slovenia ahead of a World Cup qualifier against Kosovo on Sunday, according to Turkish media.

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Turan was reported to have verbally abused Milliyet newspaper journalist Bilal Mese aboard a Turkey team plane and then grabbed him by the throat after being angered by an article the reporter had written. The incident occurred after Monday’s friendly between Macedonia and Turkey, Hurriyet and other media reported.

Turan announced his decision in front of cameras at his hotel in Slovenia, saying he had “no regrets,” the state-run Anadolu Agency reported.

Reporters and some photo-journalists left the news conference as Turan arrived, in a show of solidarity with Mese, according to Anadolu.