Turkey hails UK for indicting man over ‘funding terrorism’ in YPG case
Hami Aksoy, Turkish Foreign Ministry spokesman, said Turkey welcomed the detention of Paul Newey as well as the reasoning behind the arrest.
Calling the case important for designating the YPG as the Syrian offshoot of the terrorist group PKK, Aksoy said Ankara expects this case to set an example for all foreign terrorists operating under the terrorist YPG/PKK banner and those funding terrorism.
The EU and Western countries recognize the PKK as a terrorist group, but have resisted doing the same for the YPG, which Turkey deems as the Syrian offshoot of the outlawed PKK.
Newey, 49, was approached by British police on Dec. 11 at his home. His apartment was searched by police, and authorities confiscated laptops and cellphones. After being held for four days, he was granted bail.
Providing “material support” to terrorism - funding and support - has been used by authorities in previous years to target British families of ISIL terror members.
British local media say this is the first time a British family member has been investigated for a relative joining the YPG.
If Newey is found guilty of financing terrorism, he may serve a maximum sentence of 14 years in jail under Britain’s Terrorism Act.
In 2017 Dan Newey, Paul Newey’s eldest son, traveled from the United Kingdom to Syria to join the YPG/PKK terror group. He returned to Britain in March 2018, where he was investigated by police and placed on a watchlist but faced no charges.
He returned to Syria this October, following the launch of Turkey’s “Operation Peace Spring.”
“Cutting off the money is vital to the fight against terrorism of all kinds. We welcome the decision by the U.K. authorities to prosecute foreign funders of the YPG/PKK,” Fahrettin Altun, the Turkish presidential communications director, said on Twitter.
“It is long overdue for European governments to stop the flow of foreign terrorist fighters & prosecute such individuals for joining a terror group,” Altun said.