Two Czechs arrested over alleged links to YPG

Two Czechs arrested over alleged links to YPG

Two Czechs arrested over alleged links to YPG A Turkish court has arrested two Czechs over membership of the Syrian Kurdish Peoples’ Protection Units (YPG), a senior Czech official said on Aug. 2.

Turkish security forces detained the 30-year-old man and 24-year-old woman –Miroslav Farkas and Marketa Vselichova—in the southeastern province of Şırnak that borders Syria and Iraq on Nov. 13, 2016.

Turkish prosecutors said that material was found on their phones showing photos with the YPG, sound files and YPG marching music.

The two were charged with “membership of an armed terror group” and prosecutors had asked for up to 15 years in jail.

Farkas and Vselichova denied the charges, insisting they were humanitarian aid workers.

But a Turkish court sentenced both to six years and three months behind bars on Aug. 2, the Czech Foreign Ministry said.

Czech Foreign Minister Lubomir Zaoralek called the verdict a “huge disappointment” and also insisted in a statement that it must be appealed.

Zaoralek said that his ministry will do all it can to ensure their appeal will be dealt with properly.

Ankara considers the YPG to be a terror group linked to the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK). 

Turkish authorities have also arrested a British citizen on charges of working with the YPG on July 30 while he was holidaying in the country’s western coast.

The man, identified only as Joseph A.R., was detained in the Aegean holiday resort town of Didim in the western province of Aydın and then arrested by a court before his trial.