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.
Turkish media, including Fanatik and Milliyet, go as far as reporting that Arda had grabbed the journalist by the throat in what was an allegedly heated confrontation.
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.
(Savunma amaçlı değil; bilgilendirme amaçlıdır..)#tbt Yarın kalktığınızda muhtemelen haberleri göreceksiniz...Eleştiriler, kınamalar, köşe yazıları, hep beraber birbirlerine destek planları ve devamı...DEMİŞTİM!!! Islıklandıktan sonraki röportajımda olanları unutmayacağım diye (Euro 2016)...Dün ilk defa milli takım uçağında gördüm o şahsiyetlerden birini aylar sonra. Onlar kim mi? Biz ülkemizin formasını terletirken ve sonrasında; yalanla, iftirayla, insanların onuruna laf söyleyerek, ailevi değerlerine dil uzatıp sonra buna gazetecilik diyen kişiler. Merak etmeyin 3-5 kişiler...Tabi alışmışlar bunları yapıp pişkince gezmeye...Neden? Çünkü düzen böyle gazeteciler ya gazetecilik aylar geçince unutuluyor ya...Çocukları, gençleri, kaoslar ve krizle besleyenler; hayalleri başka yerlere taşıyanlar...Yok öyle insanın, karekterine, ailesine değerlerine laf atmak...Unutmayanı da var bunun! Benim futbolculuğumu eleştiren gazetecilere teşekkür etmişliğim vardır haklısınız diye...Çünkü bu meslek olabilir...Ama aileme, değerlerime saldırmak olmaz; gücüm yettiğince de buna izin vermiyeceğim...Dün yaptığım doğru muydu? Bilmem! Evine misafir olup, adam satıp, iftira atıp arkadan iş çeviren olacağıma, yüzüne, bağırarak, saldırarak cevap beklerim...Belki doğru değil ama dürüstçe, onurlu, şerefli bir davranış...Ha cevap aldım mı? YOK! Kıvırmaca...(klasik) Aylarca sayfa doldurdu ama karşımda iki kelime yok. Gerçi yarın konuşurlar, arkamdan! Bu fotoğrafta gördüğünüz çocuk hayatta iyi veya kötü ne yaptıysa bedelini ödedi; öder de..Allah'tan başka kimseden bir şey istemedi, beklemedi.. Hesabı da kimseye vermez...Arda Turan yola çıkarken İYİ FUTBOLCU, STAR, vs. olmak için ÇIKMADI... Şerefli, onurlu bir adam olmak için, ailesine sevdiklerine sahip olmak için ÇIKTI...Her kim şerefime, aileme, onuruma laf etmeye kalkarsa; Allah'ın bana verdikleriyle, gücüm yettiğince karşılığını alır...İyi geceler...
"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."