Turkey sentences alleged British YPG fighter for ‘terrorism’ | Turkey News


A Turkish court has sentenced a former British soldier to seven-and-a-half years in jail for alleged links to a Kurdish armed group, which is proscribed by the government.

Joe Robinson was arrested in July 2017 in connection with photos he published of himself in camouflage with fighters from the People’s Protection Units (YPG) in Syria. 

The 25-year-old, who is from the northern English city of Leeds, was on holiday in Turkey at the time of his arrest.

A court in the western city of Aydin sentenced him for “membership of a terrorist organisation,” Turkey’s private DHA news agency said.

The YPG is a US ally in the fight against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) in Syria.

However, Ankara is hostile to the group because of its links with the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), which has been in conflict with the Turkish state since 1980s.

Robinson did not attend the trial for health reasons, DHA said.

According to state media, he is currently on bail and planning an appeal.

His Bulgarian fiancee, arrested along with him, was also given a suspended sentence of nearly two years for “terrorist propaganda,” but she is currently in the UK, reports said.

According to British press reports, the 25-year-old Robinson is a former soldier who served in Afghanistan in 2012 and went to Syria in 2015 to work in the YPG’s health unit.

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