Bombs fail to deter tourists: Briton injured in blast at resort is flown home

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The Independent Online
TOUR operators were yesterday offering holidaymakers booked to travel to Turkey the opportunity to transfer to another destination or cancel their trip, at no extra cost, as a Briton injured in a bomb blast on the Mediterranean coast was was flown home by air ambulance.

But only a small proportion of those due to travel in the aftermath of the explosions in the south-west of the country seized the chance, while the mood of those already in the resorts was said to be calm.

So far no group has claimed responsibility for the bombings, but they are believed to be linked to the separatist Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), which has warned tourists to stay away.

The Foreign Office had earlier urged travellers to avoid south-eastern Turkey, where the PKK is strong. Yesterday it also advised people holidaying on the Mediterranean coast to be vigilant at all times.

Last night one of the most seriously injured, Joanna Griffiths, 24, from Chester, was in the intensive care unit at Manchester Royal Infirmary after doctors assessed the head injuries she suffered in one of two blasts in Marmaris on Tuesday. Her mother, Tina Griffiths, 41, remained in Turkey where she was receiving treatment for leg wounds sustained when the bomb went off in a rubbish bin. They were among 21 people injured, eight of them Britons, in the two blasts and another about 60 miles along the coast at Fethiye, another popular resort.

Soldiers were out in force on the streets of all Turkish resorts. But Keith Betton, of the British Association of Travel Agents, said that of about 800 people due to fly with the major operators the day after the bombings, only about a dozen had cancelled.