British schoolgirl went on run with barman in Turkey 'after he tried to strangle her'
Police in Turkey are searching for a British schoolgirl who disappeared with a local bar worker, as a friend claimed the 16-year-old may have been coerced into going on the run out of fear.
Faye Jones vanished last Thursday in the tourist resort of Marmaris with 22-year-old Murat Can Ertani, after reportedly telling a friend he had threatened to kill her.
Georgina White, 15, who had struck up a friendship with Miss Jones while holidaying in the resort, said Mr Ertani had turned violent on a night out, attempting to strangle her out of jealousy.
"He's got some sort of hold over her," Miss White told The Daily Mirror. She claimed her friend may have absconded with Mr Ertani because she was afraid of what he might do to her if she refused.
Miss Jones had earlier told her: "He said he would kill me and my nan – I’ve got to keep him sweet", Miss White claimed.
The teenager, from Cramlington, Northumberland, was last seen getting into a car with Mr Ertani as she was about to return to Britain with her mother. The pair were reportedly seen by police in a local bazaar a few hours later but fled before officers could catch them, leaving behind a suitcase containing her money and passport.
Up to 30 detectives from a specialist missing persons unit are said to be searching for Miss Jones, who is under the Turkish age of consent.
Miss White said Miss Jones had confided in her about their relationship, which she said began on a holiday the previous year. The schoolgirl had secretly kept in contact with Mr Ertani via Facebook and Skype before reuniting with him on the trip this year - a reward after sitting her GCSE exams.
Mr Ertani, known locally as Can, reportedly earns a living by touting for business on the resort's Bar Street. The Mirror also claimed that he had been linked to a gang of burglars who break into homes and drug sleeping victims with anaesthetic spray. Turkish police said he had criminal convictions and had served time in prison.
Her friend claimed Mr Ertani had become violent and threatening after seeing Miss Jones dance with other men on a night out.
"Faye came out of the toilet and I could see he had her, strangling her – just because we were with some other lads," Miss White said.
“I pulled her aside and he told me to ‘f*** off’ and pulled her back.”
“He came over again a bit later and said her dancing made her look like a slag. I pulled Faye away and he grabbed her again and slapped me around the face. I just froze. No one has ever hit me before.”
“After the choking incident, Faye’s mum Rhonda warned her to say away from him. Then, when she saw him hit me, she told her she wasn’t to have any more contact with him.
“If he could strangle her and hit me in front of her mum, what could he do when Rhonda’s not about?”
Miss White claimed her friend was frightened that the bar worker might target her grandmother, who has retired to Marmaris.“A couple of days later by the pool Faye said he was threatening her on Facebook. She showed me the messages.
“Faye was scared he would go after her nan [Jackie, who lives in the resort] or her. She said, ‘I need to keep him sweet or he might come to the hotel and kill me’.
“He’d just got out of prison. If she told him no, she was worried he’d do all kinds of crazy stuff.”
Miss Jones had reportedly intended to spend the summer in Turkey with her grandmother but her mother had insisted she return to Britain with her because she was concerned about her entanglement with Mr Ertani, who she claimed had convictions for violence and burglary.
Rhonda Jones, 39, told The Daily Mail: ‘I’m really frightened for her safety. The more people I talk to the more dreadful things I hear about Can."
Miss White told how she witnessed her friend's disappearance from the Pineta Club hotel. She said Miss Jones, who she claimed had threatened to run away in an argument with her mother the previous night, spent much of the day on her phone.
"Then a dark green car pulled up outside," she said.
“She told me she was just going to say bye to Can. She went to speak to him through the open window then went back inside.
“He got out and stood by the car and then she shot past me, didn’t say a word. He threw her suitcase into the car and they drove off. I didn’t think she was that stupid.”
Miss White added. “I just know she would want to come home by now."