A Lerwick family is warning of the “hidden dangers” of holidays in foreign resorts after their son was stabbed in Turkey.
Merchant seaman Adam Thomson, 30, found himself in a precarious situation on the last night of a family holiday in Marmaris in October.
He intervened when he saw two British girls being hassled by two Turkish men, and ended up being stabbed with his life in danger.
A nightmare experience of hospital, dealing with police who could not speak English, interpreters, insurance claims, still not completed, and a “fraught” and expensive extended stay in the country followed, made all the worse because the family had taken the holiday to get over a recent bereavement.
Now recovering at home, Adam is still too traumatised to speak about his ordeal, but his mother Karen described what happened after he helped the two girls. He had met them earlier that night at a night club, having gone there after watching a football match in a bar.
Mrs Thomson said: “Adam accompanied the girls back to their hotel next door to ours. They were followed and Adam was attacked and stabbed right outside our hotel. He had two severe wounds, one just below his heart and one nearer his abdomen.
“He received surgery later that day at a private hospital.The following four days were very tense until we knew he was out of danger. It was a further two weeks before he was allowed to travel.”
Although Adam has picked up since he has been home, it will still be another month before he can return to sea.
Mrs Thomson added: “Holidaymakers should be aware of the dangers, particularly at the end of season when a variety of people are coming and going from the resort. It is wise for young people to stay in groups if venturing out in the evening and if you find yourself alone after dark use a taxi to get home.”
And, she said, incidents can happen away from hotspots. “Adam wasn’t in the notorious ‘bar street’ party area, but at the quieter end of the resort, on the beach promenade 10 minutes from our hotel. He hadn’t been out a lot because he was looking after me and his sister Wish.
“The irony is that we had actually gone away following a bereavement [older son Jamie died in the summer] with the aim of finding some peace and relaxation.
“We enjoyed our trip until this unfortunate incident. We met some lovely people, and thankfully the hotel manager and staff were extremely supportive and did all they could to make us comfortable and lift our spirits. I personally would not go to Marmaris again at the end of season. Holiday reps were preparing to leave the resort and flights to Scotland were ending.
“The majority of hotels close mid-October and apparently crime often increases at this time.
She added: “An unfortunate end to another chapter of our lives! Adam doesn’t want to talk about it himself, but his current ethos is: ‘Never be ashamed of a scar. It simply means you were stronger than whatever tried to hurt you’.”