Ex-British soldier who fought Islamic State 'charged with terror offence in Turkey'

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A former British soldier who fought against Islamic State has reportedly been charged with a terror offence in Turkey.

Joe Robinson has been accused of being a member of a terrorist organisation after he fought in Syria alongside the People’s Protection Units of Syrian Kurdistan (YPG), a group proscribed in Turkey because of its links to the Kurdish independence movement.

The 24-year-old was detained by Turkish police while on holiday last month with his girlfriend and her mother.

Mr Robinson, formerly of Accrington, Lancashire, is being kept in his cell for 23 hours a day, his solicitor Kaya Sertkaya told the Guardian.

His girlfriend Mira Rojkan, who according to her Facebook page is originally from Bulgaria, but is living in Leeds and studying law, has been charged with propaganda for sharing pro-Kurdish material online, the solicitor added.

It is also reported that Mr Robinson’s family has sent a letter to Prime Minister Theresa May appealing for her help.

An online petition calling for his release has gained more than 3,000 signatures since being set up at the end of July.

Turkey is hostile to the YPG because of links with the Kurdistan Workers’ Party, which is fighting for Kurdish autonomy in Turkey.

Following Mr Robinson’s arrest, the Kurdistan Solidarity Campaign said: “Unfortunately, Joe has gone on holiday to Turkey not realising the kind of state it has now become.

“Turkey unfortunately continues to criminalise the Kurdish question and has jailed tens of thousands of Kurdish people, including elected MPs and mayors simply for peacefully campaigning for Kurdish rights.”

A Foreign Office spokesman said: “We are aware of the detention of a British national in Turkey and have requested consular access. We are providing support to the family and remain in contact with Turkish authorities.”

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