South Shields man stranded in Turkey following coup attempt

A South Shields man has told of how he is stranded in his hotel after the coup attempt in Turkey.

James Brown Sinclair, 24, from Biddick Hall in South Shields, flew out to Marmaris in Turkey on July 8 for a 10-day holiday with his partner, which quickly turned into a nightmare after a coup attempt took place in the stricken country last night.

A South shields man has told of how he is stranded in his hotel after the Turkey coup attempt last night.

A South shields man has told of how he is stranded in his hotel after the Turkey coup attempt last night.

Nearly 3,000 soldiers have been arrested and 2,700 judges dismissed in Turkey, after a coup attempt by a faction of the armed forces which left 161 people dead.

It follows reports of explosions and gunfire in Ankara and Istanbul overnight as the coup unfolded and President Erdogan has made a televised address, urging opposition to the uprising and calling it "treason."

The Foreign Office has advised British travellers in Turkey not to leave their hotels. Flights to and from the UK have been cancelled.

James said he had been told to wait for assistance from the British Embassy.

Speaking after a dramatic night in the country, he said: "We were walking back to the hotel from Marmaris city centre around 11pm and saw that all the pubs and clubs had the news on, but we were unable to understand what they were saying as it was Turkish TV.

"We arrived back to the hotel around 11.45pm were we had WiFi and had a better understanding on what was going on.

"The reception at the hotel said that I needed to go and get cash out of the cash machine, but when I arrived at the machine and it was backed up with queues of people.

"So I went back to the hotel, but I was looking around all the time, because I was informed that gangs on bike would wait until you had the cash and then hold you up."

He added: "I arrived back to the hotel safely, but I have the rest of my family staying in a different hotel about mile up the front, so I walked up the beach to see them and it was dead quiet.

"As I was crossing the road to reach their hotel around 12.20pm, I could see hundreds of bike, cars and busses coming directly my way with their horns blasting.

"They were all heading down to Marmaris centre. I explained to the family to say in the hotel and told them not to go outside.

"Later that night around 2am four military helicopters came over my hotel with light off.

"Around 3.20pm there was a very loud explosion and gunfire. We found out later on that it was a rocket from the helicopter going into the hotel where the president had been one hour later."

James said they are now trapped in their hotel after being advised to stay away from the city centre.

He added: "We have been informed not to enter the main centre and stay next to the hotel.

"There are people going into the streets tonight again and we have been informed by them it's going to be messy.

"We want to be back home as soon as possible. We are flying with Jet2, who we have had a little contact with, but we're hoping that the British Embassy will help.

"The last thing we can do is get a boat to Greece and fly from there. We can't get to airport as all roads in and out are closed and all the flights at the airport have been cancelled."