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Turkish star Turan could face more than 12 years jail for brawl

Arda Turan was the centre of attention when he returned to Turkey in January to play for Basaksehir © AFP/File / OZAN KOSE

ISTANBUL, Turkey, Oct 15Turkish prosecutors on Monday charged Barcelona player Arda Turan over a brawl with a prominent singer, asking for the footballer to be sentenced to twelve-and-a-half years in jail.

The prosecutors charged Turan, who is currently on loan to Istanbul’s Basaksehir, with sexual harassment, unlicensed possession of weapons and causing intentional injury over the fight with singer Berkay Sahin, the state-run Anadolu news agency said.

Sahin, who goes on stage by his first name Berkay, was also charged, with prosecutors demanding up to two years in jail.

Turan, 31, had last week been summoned to an Istanbul police station to give a statement about the incident but was allowed to walk free.

The incident, which took place outside an Istanbul nightclub and reportedly left Sahin with a broken nose, has transfixed Turkey over the last days.

In a bizarre sequence of events, Turan then reportedly went to the hospital where the singer was being treated clutching a gun and begging to be shot and forgiven.

The attacking midfielder, who won 100 caps for the national side, has for years been Turkey’s best known footballer and is a strong supporter of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

He backed Erdogan strongly after the failed July 2016 coup, appearing at rallies outside his home, and the Turkish president even came as a witness to Turan’s marriage.

Turan is notorious for poor behaviour both on and off the field.

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He was banned for a record 16 games by the Turkish football authorities in May after he shoved and verbally abused a referee in a game for Basaksehir.

Turan joined Basaksehir last season on loan from Barcelona, where he had largely endured an unhappy spell on the bench after joining from Atletico Madrid.

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