A DARLINGTON man's internet blind date saw him land in Turkey amid a military coup.

After a Tinder connection took an unexpected direction, Phil Stephenson found himself in Marmaris, caught between the unwanted attentions of his date and the dangers of an unfolding military coup.

As a “spontaneous bit of banter”, the 22-year-old agreed to join a woman he’d never met before on a trip to Turkey after her family members dropped out of the trip.

He flew out on Friday and is now holed up in Marmaris’ Club Lyka hotel, where he is doing his best to avoid his date – and the political situation currently threatening the stability of the country.

Mr Stephenson, who works for the Luxury Bed Company, shared his unique story with The Northern Echo.

He said: “We both matched on Tinder and spoke about five words before she told me she was going on holiday the next day.

“She gave me a big story about how her mam and sister couldn’t go and asked if I’d come – she didn’t have to ask me twice.

“We met for the first time at the airport and ended up in Turkey – I’ve done a lot of radged things in my time but nothing like this.

“I’ve had loads of people messaging me about what’s happening here and people by the pool are saying there has been shootings and a helicopter brought down in Icemeler, which is just down the road.

“I want to come home and I’ve booked a flight for tonight, but if it settles down, I might stay for the rest of the week.

“It’s not just because of what’s happening in Istanbul that I want to come home – I think the girl thought she was getting a romantic holiday with me, but I just wanted a bit of banter.

“I thought we’d be going out every night and having wild times but now she’s going round and asking people about romantic restaurants.

“We got here and there were two single beds but she pushed them together – I told her I was upset about everything that was happening in Turkey and slept on the sofa.

“Now she’s slagging me off to everyone round the pool for sitting with my headphones on.

“People are absolutely loving it but I just want to come home.

“My mates are telling me to stick it out because it’s so funny but it’s not ISIS or terrorists I’m scared of, it’s her.

“There’s definitely no wedding bells for me.”

Mr Stephenson praised hotel staff for bending over backwards to reassure and support guests.

He said: “They’re being really happy and friendly, even though most of the guests seem like they couldn’t care less about it all.

“Some were saying they’d heard gunshots last night, I didn’t hear anything but I’m worried because my room’s on the ground floor facing the road so I’d be the first to get a punch.”

He added: “I’ve never done anything like this before but if someone else asked me if I wanted to go on a free holiday, I’d do it again for a laugh.”