Footballer ‘scared’ as attempted coup reached resort town

Rhonda Jones tweeted a picture of protestors gathering in Marmaris from her hotel window.
Rhonda Jones tweeted a picture of protestors gathering in Marmaris from her hotel window.

Newarthill footballer Rhonda Jones was caught up in the failed military coup in Turkey.

The Rangers defender was staying at the Golden Rock Beach Hotel in Marmaris as a section of the Turkish army attempted to overthrow President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Friday night.

The popular tourist destination on the Mediterranean coast is located almost 500 miles from Istanbul and 400 miles from the capital Ankara and is usually notable for its water park and Dolphin Therapy Centre.

However, it was caught up in the violence when it became known the President was on holiday in the town, leading to military aircraft flying overhead and gunfire and an explosion being heard in the street.

Gunmen stormed hotels looking for President Erdogan while protestors took to the streets waving flags of his Justice and Development Party (AKP).

At least 265 people were killed and over 1,400 wounded across the country.

Rhonda Jones

Rhonda Jones

Rhonda admitted she was “scared” as she posted videos on her Twitter account, the first showing protestors marching in the streets below, and the second showing a bullet hole in a window at her hotel.

In a series of tweets between 11.45pm on Friday and 3.30am the next day, she wrote:

“Bit scared .... what’s going on #turkey #marmaris”

“In Marmaris I think 9 hours away from Istanbul but can hear the military planes flying over”

“Exchanged gun fire up and down the street in Marmaris now. A small explosion #scared

However, by 8am with the coup attempt having failed Rhonda was a lot happier than a few hours earlier.

She tweeted: “We feel very safe now. It was a scary experience but all seems back to normal now. I wouldn’t worry.”