Arda hits out at media 'slander' after alleged scrap with journalist

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Arda Turan has responded to allegations of an altercation with a journalist by hitting out at attacks on his "dignity" in the media.

The Barcelona midfielder was reportedly involved in an incident with a reporter from the Milliyet newspaper on the Turkey squad's flight back following their 0-0 friendly draw with Macedonia on Monday.

Arda is said to have been furious that the reporter – named as Bilal Mese – was allowed to travel on the plane due to reports, circulated after Euro 2016, alleging a dispute between senior Turkey players and the Turkish Football Federation (TFF) relating to bonuses they were said to be owed for reaching the finals.

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.

"This is not about defending myself, it is only to inform people," he began, writing alongside a picture of him playing football as a youngster. "You are going to see the news after you wake up in the morning.

"Criticisms, critics, articles... They are going to support each other. I TOLD YOU! After fans whistled me, I said in my first interview that I will never forget it. After months, I saw one of them on the plane yesterday. Who are they? They are people who wrote lies, slander and ignore people's dignity and family values when we are playing for our own country. And they call this journalism.

"Do not worry. They are only three or five people. Of course, they have become accustomed to doing these things. Why? Because this is the system. They feed children and young people with chaos.

"You can't talk about people's character and family values. Someone will remember this. I thanked some journalists who criticise my football. This is their job. But you can't attack my family and my values, I will not allow this for as long as I can.

"Was it true what I did yesterday? I don't know! I am not a man who visits someone at home and after that sells him out, does something behind his back. I like to be a man who shouts and attacks to your face.

"Maybe it is not right but it is honest, honourable behaviour. Did I get any answer? No! He wrote about it for months but didn't say any words to my face. They will talk tomorrow behind me.

"The child who you see in this photo paid for what he did in his life. He didn't want anything from anyone other than God. Arda Turan didn't start this road to be a star player or good player. He started this road to be an honourable man and protect his family.

"Whoever talks about my honour or my family gets my answer."