Mock jihadist attack ‘did not panic customers,’ Turkish hotel claims
ISTANBULA Turkish hotel which staged a “poolside jihadist assault” as entertainment has refuted a British media report that its customers were “panicked,” hotel managers have told daily Hürriyet.
According to a news story by British daily The Sun, the five-star resort in Turkey’s Mediterranean district of Marmaris staged a mock jihadist attack by its pool, causing its British customers to panic.
A British electrician named Jason Phytian, one of the hotel’s customers who witnessed the “entertainment,” recounted animators suddenly appeared by the poolside wearing clothing associated with Middle Eastern militiamen and carrying fake weapons.
“An animator ran towards me with a gas can, poured it over me, and lit his lighter,” he said. “I jumped because I couldn’t figure out what was going on.”
Statements from The Sun and testifying customers underlined the attack was insensitive, especially since it was staged only weeks after the June 27 attack claimed by Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) militants at a Tunisian seaside resort that killed 30 British tourists.
“It was disgusting to try and make light of Tunisia in that way. Thirty British people died in that attack, which had happened less than two months earlier,” Phytian told the newspaper.
Meanwhile, managers of the resort denied reports that their “animation” had panicked customers.
Speaking to Hürriyet, hotel management argued pictures from the show were cropped and taken out of context.
“This was a Hollywood-themed poolside show and included famous movie characters like Rambo and Superman. We always received good feedback on this show,” a spokesperson claimed.
Meanwhile, British tour operator Jet2Holidays apologized to its customers for the inconvenience and stated the hotel agreed not to use Middle Eastern clothing in future animations.
A similar incident took place on July 7 when six employees of the British bank HSBC filmed a mock ISIL-style execution video and shared it online.
HSBC called the video “abhorrent” and fired all the employees involved in its making.