An Irishman who saw his brawl with an angry mob of Turkish shopkeepers go viral has said they “messed with the wrong man” in his first TV interview.
Turkish media have identified the tourist as Mohammed Fadel Dobbous, a Kuwait-born Irish national, who quickly became an internet sensation after grainy CCTV footage of his street-fight was aired on multiple news websites.
The Independent reports that Dobbous told Turkey’s Show TV he was “shocked” the incident escalated so quickly after he accidentally spilled some bottles of water from a drinks cabinet.
He also clarified that despite the Turkish media reporting that he was a professional boxer, he was in fact “just training”, making his feat all the more impressive.
The CCTV footage which emerged showed up to 15 men surrounding Dobbous, some hitting him with sticks and chairs, while others try to break up the fight.
He managed to stay on his feet, and even went back to the shop to apologise to the owner.
“I wasn’t drunk, I don’t drink,” he told the Independent.
“When the water fell on the ground I apologised to the shop owners, but they attacked me with sticks.”
Dobbous reported that he had broken his hand, injured his shoulder and received a knife wound to the back during the fight.
He also lost his phone, watch and a gold chain during the melee.
However he bravely said that the unpleasant incident would not deter him from returning to Istanbul in the future.