A former British soldier who fought against Isis in Syria alongside a Kurdish militia faces terrorism charges after being arrested in Turkey while on holiday with his girlfriend, The Independent has learned.
Joe Robinson was detained at the resort of Didim, on the Aegean coast, with Mira Rojkan, a Bulgarian living in Leeds, along with her mother who had accompanied them. Both the women were subsequently released, but the Turkish authorities have stated that 23 year old Mr Robinson, from Accrington in Lancashire, is being investigated in connection with terrorist offences and is likely to face charges.
The government of Recep Tayyep Erdogan is engaged in an increasingly violent conflict with Kurdish separatists in Turkey and Syria, and thousands of Kurdish nationals are in jail under a state of emergency. Mr Robinson has served with the YPG, the armed wing of the Syrian Kurdish Democratic Union Party which has repeatedly clashed with Turkish troops operating in Turkey, as well as its allies in the PKK in Turkey.
Liberated from Isis, women burn their burqas and men shave off their beards
Ms Rojkan, who studied law at Leeds University, and had carried out voluntary work for Amnesty International, was questioned by Turkish officials on whether she had any links with subversive groups. The country director for Amnesty International was arrested earlier this month in Istanbul with a number of other human rights workers. More than 50,000 people remain in prison in the country in the crackdown which followed last year’s failed coup.
On Friday night Ms Rojkan said: “It was just awful. They said someone had sent them an email saying we were terrorists about to do something in Turkey. They wouldn’t say who it was from. It is absolute nonsense. They arrested us on the beach while we were vacationing with my mother.”
Mr Robinson, who had served with the Duke of Lancaster’s Regiment in Afghanistan in 2012, decided to join in the fight against…