A former British Army soldier who fought against the Islamic State terror group in Syria has been sentenced to nearly eight years in jail in Turkey.
Joe Robinson, 25, was arrested on holiday accused of fighting the Islamists alongside the People’s Protection Units of Syrian Kurdistan (YPG), which the Turkish state is hostile towards.
Robinson, formerly of Accrington, Lancashire, was sentenced to seven years and six months in prison, but he reportedly remains on bail while planning an appeal.
He has previously admitted fighting IS but went on to deny he acted alongside the Kurdish militia, considered by Turkey as a terror organisation because of its links to the Kurdistan Workers’ Party which is fighting for autonomy for the region.
Robinson instead insisted he travelled to Syria to provide medical aid.
He was arrested last year alongside partner Mira Rojkan, a Bulgarian citizen who had been living in Leeds studying law, and she was accused of engaging in terrorist propaganda.
Rojkan was given a suspended sentence, the BBC reported Robinson’s mother as saying.
Following 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.”
On Saturday, the Foreign Office said: “We stand ready to provide consular assistance to a British national in Turkey.”