The family of a former Accrington soldier who was charged with terror offences in Turkey have told of their ‘confusion’ after he was detained by military forces just hours after being released on bail.
Joe Robinson, who went to Syria to fight against the Islamic State terror group, was arrested four months ago while holiday with his girlfriend and her mother and later accused of membership of a terrorist organisation.
The 24-year-old denied the charge when appearing at a Turkish court last week claiming he travelled to Syria to provide medical aid.
Lawyer Mehmet Baykara said the court in western Turkey ordered him to be released from jail on condition that he regularly reports to police. The trial was adjourned until March 12.
His Bulgarian fiancee Mira Rojkan, who is accused of engaging in terrorist propaganda, was released on bail earlier.
However Mr Robinson’s family say they have now gone from ‘elation to despair’ after discovering that he is being held by the Gendarmerie General Command - a service branch of the Turkish armed forces.
In a post on Facebook, Mr Robinson’s stepfather Mark Chimejczuk wrote: “The Gendarmerie commander informed us that Joe was being deported on Monday and kept there until then.
“This was all very emotional, from elation to despair and up and down.
“It was midnight when we found Joe, the Gendarmerie commander was very understanding and let us see Joe.
“I got to hug him and tell him I love him.
“We explained what was happening and showed him pictures of his niece. We then let him and Mira have some time together.
“This morning we have been informed by the lawyer that Joe will not be deported and the authorities have made a mistake. We are now waiting to see what happens next.
“Joe is being kept in a room with metal fixed chairs and tiled floor, no bed or blankets, and this could be until Monday.
“His head is just about hanging in there. We are feeling confused but know he will be free just not when.”
An online petition calling for Mr Robinson’s release has gained more than 4,600 signatures since being set up at the end of July.
A JustGiving page to raise money for his family and legal fees has also raised £650.