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Former Newcastle star talks about his Turkey nightmare

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Former Newcastle defender Steven Taylor has spoken about how he was caught up in Turkey’s military coup back in June. Tanks and troops from a section of the Turkish army took to the streets in a bid to oust President Recep Erdogan from power but the takeover failed with Erdogan’s forces re-establishing control of the country within 24 hours.

Taylor, who had been linked with a move to Fenerbahce, was in Istanbul finalising a move to a Turkish team when he was trapped and unable to return to his hotel when the army blockaded roads and bridges in the city.

“I was there when it all happened.A Turkish side came in for me and got me out there. I’d agreed nearly everything until that night we went to a restaurant in Istanbul and everyone suddenly started leaving. I had my dad ringing and texting me to ask if everything was OK – I didn’t realise what was going on. I couldn’t get back to the hotel as the military came in and blocked us off. It was a nerve-racking thing, but the Turkish people looked after us. I got back to the hotel the next day.”

Taylor eventually made the switch to MLS side Portland Timbers after the move to Turkey fell through. The 30 year old spent 13 years on Tyneside before he was allowed to leave on a free transfer this summer, after Newcastle’s relegation to the Championship. The Timbers, who won the MLS title last season, are currently sixth in the Western Conference.

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