Tourists shocked as hotel staff stage fake terror attack

NewsBy Sunday World
The pool at the five-star Grand Yazici Mares hotel in Icmeler, Turkey
The pool at the five-star Grand Yazici Mares hotel in Icmeler, Turkey

A holiday firm has apologised after hotel staff in Turkey staged an apparent mock terrorist "attack" to entertain guests.

The joke backfired as one British holidaymaker said he was left "terrified" by the stunt at the Grand Yazici Mares hotel in Icmeler.

The incident last Thursday came just six weeks after Islamic State terrorist Seifeddine Rezgui Yacoubi killed 38 people, 30 of them British holidaymakers, in Tunisia.

Electrician Jason Pythian, 43, from Manchester, said he was among dozens of British tourists lounging by the pool when gun-toting mock Arab terrorists dressed in Middle Eastern outfits and army gear appeared.

Mr Pythian told The Sun only after they ran for their lives fearing another massacre did they realise it was a prank.

He told the paper: "We were so relieved - it was the hotel's idea of entertainment for the day. They thought it was funny to run around the pool dressed as terrorists.

"One ran up to me with a bucket with 'Fuel' written on the side. He threw it over me and got out a cigarette lighter. I jumped up, not knowing what on Earth was going on. It was disgusting to try and make light of Tunisia in that way."

He was in a party of six who had paid tour operator Jet2holidays more than £5,000 for a 12-day all-inclusive stay to celebrate his father George's 70th birthday.

They flew to the Dalaman coast on July 30 with Jason's wife Maureen, sister Dawn Sutton, 41, plus her husband David and nine-year-old son Tyler.

His sister also criticised the stunt on website TripAdvisor, writing: "So shocked to see them dressed up," Mrs Sutton said.

"One was dressed in army pants walking round with a gun and pointing it at people.

"Then there were two walking about as Arabs, one with a rifle and one with a container with 'Fuel' written on - it was only water.

"He came up to a family member and poured it on his head, then pretended to light his head. They thought it was entertainment.

"I just thought it was bad taste since what happened in Tunisia."

Icmeler is less than 400 miles from the war-torn border with Syria, much of the country in the hands of terror group Islamic State.

And Turkey has also been hit by a series of terrorist outrages as the neighbouring civil war spills over to more countries.

A spokeswoman for Jet2holidays, said: "We are sorry to hear about the distress experienced by the Sutton family and on hearing this we immediately spoke to the hotel management.

"They have assured us it was never their intention to cause any offence or upset with their entertainment programme.

"This was a Hollywood themed poolside show, which included the characters Rambo and Superman, and it is always well received by the hotel's residents. The hotel management now understands that some of the costumes may have caused offence and they will no longer use these in their shows."

However an online comment by another British holidaymaker currently staying at the hotel played down the incident.

The comment on Mail Online said: "The Hollywood Theme pool entertainment could have been seen as insensitive but was in no way scary as the entertainers all had comedy make-up and a commentator was providing a running commentary.

"No one appeared scared, no one was running for their lives and although it provided 'food for thought' and lots of laughs it certainly needed to be taken in context. (Along with the cowboys and Indians, Rambo, Arab Sheik and other Hollywood characters).

"Furthermore, there are many nationalities here, the least being British. Most are Turks and Russians and only a smattering of Brits."