Turkish waiter Murat Can Ertani has told how he already has another girlfriend from the UK just days after he was arrested for fleeing with a Northumberland schoolgirl.
The 22-year-old claimed he only ran off with Faye Jones, 16, because he was bored, said he never loved the youngster anyway and called their four-day vanishing act an “adventure”.
Ertani met Faye in the southern Turkish resort of Marmaris, which is popular with holidaymakers from all over Europe, especially Britain.
But when they vanished on the day they were due to return to Newcastle, a police search was launched.
Ertani said: “I met a new English girl and she will be my girlfriend now. She saw me in the papers and on the news. I am in love with the girl next to me.
“When she leaves, there is always another one. Girls love a bad boy and that is me. Girls get boring. I cannot stay with just one for more than a few weeks.”
Faye had made contact with convicted burglar Ertani through Facebook and the pair chatted for a year online before meeting face-to-face at the sunshine resort two weeks ago.
He claims the pupil told him she was 19 and at first he did not realise what all the fuss was about after discovering police and Faye’s family were scouring the resort for them.
He claims he only found out she was 16 when he read it in a newspaper. Ertani, who admitted he has been in prison six times – once for a stabbing – added: “When I found out she was 16, we were already running away and she didn’t want to go back, so I wanted to help her.
“She said she was sorry for lying to me, but if she told me she was 16 I would have nothing to do with her. It was just an adventure for me. My life was so boring. I have no regrets. I would do it again. I’d only seen [her] pictures on Facebook.”
Faye and Ertani stayed with a friend of his in Marmaris for two days before heading for nearby mountains on foot. They lived rough for another two days, with no money or food.
Police finally tracked them down on Monday in Mugla, 35 miles away. Ertani, who regularly sleeps on the beach or friends’ sofas, was arrested.
Faye claimed she only went on the run because she was terrified of him, but she later changed her story and insisted he had done nothing wrong.
Ertani spent a night in jail, but was freed by a judge on Tuesday morning after Faye’s change of heart.
And while Faye, who is from Cramlington, returned to her worried mother Rhonda, 39, he headed back to the bars of Marmaris.
The youngster and her mum had planned a fortnight’s break together in Turkey. Faye was then going to spend the rest of the summer holiday with grandmother Jackie Armstrong, who has a flat in Marmaris.