German decides against Turkey return
Striker had 28 goals for Besiktas last season
Was on loan from Italy's Fiorentina
One of the biggest names in Turkish club football has declined to return for a second season, citing political unrest in the country.
Striker Mario Gomez released a statement addressed to fans of Besiktas on his Facebook page, saying that the “difficult decision” is “completely down to the political situation.”
Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan declared a three-month state of emergency Wednesday, following a failed military coup attempt over the weekend which left more than 250 dead.
Germany international Gomez, on loan from Italian club Fiorentina, scored 28 goals for the Istanbul-based team, which topped the Turkish Super Lig last season.
His deal had the option of a permanent transfer, but the 31-year-old former Bayern Munich forward has ended Besiktas’ hopes of signing him.
“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,” Gomez wrote.
“Huge thanks to the club, to you fans and to all the people with whom my family and I had a lot of wonderful times! It was a fantastic year with the Championship providing the absolute highlight. 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! The club and the country grew very close to my heart in this past year.”
He scored twice at the tournament, adding to his three goals at Euro 2012.
Fiorentina will be hoping his form in France has boosted his transfer value, as he has a year remaining on his contract.