German footballer Mario Gomez quits Turkey due to unstable political situation
The 31-year-old center forward spent last season on loan at Besiktas from Italian club Fiorentina, and topped the Turkish Super Lig scoring charts with 26 goals in 33 appearances.
Gomez’s efforts were key in the Istanbul-based club being crowned 2015-16 Turkish champions, with the Vodafone Arena outfit hoping to make the attacker’s move permanent this summer.
However, the former Bayern Munich striker has taken to Facebook to reveal his decision to spurn a return to Turkey given the recent failed military coup there.
“The reason for this is completely down to the political situation,” Gomez wrote.
“There are no sporting or any other reasons that have made me make this decision. It is purely down to the terrible events that happened in the last few days.
“I have to tell you Besiktas fans personally that it is very heavy for me that I will not be playing for this great club in front of you wonderful fans in this unique stadium anymore.
“I hope that these political problems can be solved in a peaceful manner soon. Then it would be my great wish to play for Besiktas again.”
A military coup to overthrow President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s government was unsuccessful but catapulted Turkey into global news.
Around 60,000 civil servants, teachers and soldiers have been apprehended on suspicion of backing the attempted coup last week, which resulted in 246 people being killed.
In recent years Turkey has become an attractive destination for high-profile foreign players, with the likes of Samuel Eto’o, Robin van Persie and Lukas Podolski currently plying their trade in the country.
However, the uncertain political situation could well see players reluctant to move to the Super Lig.
Gomez reinvented himself at Besiktas after a couple of disappointing seasons at Fiorentina, playing his way into Germany’s Euro 2016 team.