Two British citizens charged in Turkey over their alleged PYD ties

Two British citizens have been sued for allegedly making terror propaganda from their social media accounts while they have been in Turkey. Turkish media has reported that an indictment released by the Chief Prosecutor’s Office in Aydın province has requested British citizens Joseph R. and his girlfriend, Mira A. to serve years of sentences for making propaganda and for “being a member of a terrorist organization.”

The British couple was detained on June 27 during an operation in the Didim district over they were allegedly propagating on the behalf of Syrian Kurdish armed group PYD, which has been perceived as an extension of outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).

It was reported that the 7-page indictment was accepted by Aydın’s 3rd High Criminal Court. Joseph R. has reportedly confessed he was in PYD fronts of the Sarin and Ain al Arab regions in Syria, where he was directed to locations by the group’s members he previously met. He has also reportedly confessed to being trained how to use AK-47 and other machine guns. Prosecutors are seeking five to 10 years for Joseph R. and three to five years for Mira A.

Turkish government has previously arrested numbers of German, Swedish, American citizens and number of citizens of other countries over their alleged links to different terror organisations. Therefore, Ankara’s relations with Berlins were strained after German-Turkish journalists Deniz Yücel, Meşale Tolu and human rights activist Peter Steudtner were arrested over alleged links to the PKK and other so-called terror organizations earlier this year.

Moreover, an American pastor, Andrew Brunson, has been jailed in Turkey for almost 340 days. Brunson was jailed in Turkey in October 2016 due to alleged links to the faith-based Gülen movement, with acquiring secret political and military information, attempting to destroy constitutional order and overthrow the Turkish Parliament.

Several other foreigners and Turks with dual citizenship were put behind bars following the failed coup over their alleged links to the Gülen movement, which is accused by the Turkish government of being behind the attempted coup. The movement strongly denies any involvement.

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