Berlin - A promising former Germany youth international who reportedly chose radical islam over football was killed in an aerial attack in Syria last month, German daily Bild reported on Monday.
Burak Karan, who played alongside stars like Sami Khedira and Kevin-Prince Boateng for Germany's under-16 and under-17 sides, died on October 11 in a village near the Turkish border, his brother told the newspaper.
According to Mustapha Karan, Burak gave up football in 2008, aged 20.
When civil war erupted in Syria in 2011, he began to raise funds to buy medical supplies for victims of the fighting.
"But when some of the supplies didn't turn up he decided to leave with his wife and two sons and organise distribution himself near the Turkish border," Mustapha recalled, adding that his brother had said he "didn't want to fight".
The brothers' sister, Zuhal, told another German paper, Focus, that "Burak only used to talk about Jihad and other crazy war-like stuff".
Bild published a photograph of Burak brandishing a Kalashnikov taken from video-sharing site YouTube.
"We will check this case but there is no confirmation for the moment," a spokesperson for the German Interior ministry stated.