A British ex-soldier has been arrested by Turkish authorities for suspected terrorism offences while holidaying on the country’s western coast.
The man, named locally as ‘Joseph A.R.’, was detained in the Aegean holiday resort town of Didim, in Aydin province, on Friday, on charges of working with a Kurdish militia Ankara classified as a terror group, state media said.
A Bulgarian citizen detained was allowed by the court to go free under judicial control.
The man was identified as ex-soldier Joe Robinson, 24, from Leeds, and the Bulgarian as his fiancee Mira Rojkan, by the BBC.
Her mother, who was also detained, was later freed without charge.
Robinson was arrested after posting pictures on social media allegedly showing himself in camouflage gear taking part in Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) operations in Syria, according to the government-backed Anadolu agency.
Ankara considers the YPG a terrorist group and the Syrian branch of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), which has waged an insurgency inside Turkey since 1984.
However, the United States government regards the YPG – the main fighting force on the ground in Syria against the Islamic State group – as a key ally.
The US is now openly arming the YPG and the group is heavily involved in the US-backed operation to remove IS jihadists from their stronghold of Raqa.
The YPG has also attracted the services of foreigners – many with no Kurdish family origin – to fight against IS in Syria and Iraq. Several have lost their lives.
According to the Hurriyet daily, the Briton said in his statement to police investigators that he spent three months in Syria providing medical assistance to the…