Ex-British soldier, 25, who fought with Kurdish militia against Islamic State in Syria is sentenced to nearly eight years in Turkish prison

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.

Former British soldier Joe Robinson, 25, was arrested while on holiday in the Turkish seaside resort town of Didim with his partner Mira Rojkan
Former British soldier Joe Robinson, 25, was arrested while on holiday in the Turkish seaside resort town of Didim with his partner Mira Rojkan

Joe Robinson, 25, was arrested while he was on holiday and accused of fighting the Islamists alongside the People’s Protection Units of Syrian Kurdistan.

The Turkish state is hostile towards the YPG, who they consider a terror organisation because of its links to the Kurdistan Workers’ Party which is fighting for autonomy for the region.

Mr Robinson, from Accrington, Lancashire, was sentenced to seven years and six months in prison, but he will reportedly remain on bail while planning an appeal.

Former British soldier Joe Robinson, 25, was arrested while on holiday in the Turkish seaside resort town of Didim with his partner Mira Rojkan +3
Former British soldier Joe Robinson, 25, was arrested while on holiday in the Turkish seaside resort town of Didim with his partner Mira Rojkan

He has previously admitted fighting IS but went on to deny he acted alongside the Kurdish militia.

Robinson, who served as a soldier in the Duke of Lancaster’s Regiment and spent time in Afghanistan, 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, while they were on holiday in the Turkish seaside resort town of Didim.

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Ms Rojkan, a law student at the University of Leeds, was accused of engaging in terrorist propaganda.

She was given a suspended sentence, the BBC reported.

Ms Rojkan told the BBC: ‘The court sentenced me for sharing Facebook posts with the Kurdish flag and links to Kurdish songs on YouTube.

‘The situation is just so sad and ridiculous. It’s beyond me how this can be happening.’

Mr Robinson, from Accrington, Lancashire, was sentenced to seven years and six months in prison, but he will reportedly remain on bail while planning an appeal +3
Mr Robinson, from Accrington, Lancashire, was sentenced to seven years and six months in prison, but he will reportedly remain on bail while planning an appeal

Robinson had previously fought with YPG Kurdish militia against ISIS in Syria +3
Robinson had previously fought with YPG Kurdish militia against ISIS in Syria

On Saturday, the Kurdistan Solidarity Campaign praised Robinson for ‘selflessly’ battling IS, and called on the Government to stand up for the former soldier.

‘Joe is a hero to all who value peace and freedom against the dark forces of oppression, enslavement, rape and terrorism which IS represent,’ a statement said.

The YPG is not a proscribed organisation in the UK.

Mr Robinson’s mother Sharon Chimejczuk said she received a phone call on Friday night from an official at the British Foreign Office confirming her son’s sentence.

She said: ‘There was a trial, but Joe wasn’t at it.’

The Foreign Office said: ‘We stand ready to provide consular assistance to a British national in Turkey.’

By BRYONY JEWELL FOR MAILONLINE