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Kurdish fighter's family deported to Syria as EU pledges millions in migrant crack-down

European Commission president Ursula von Leyden pledged €700m to help Greece crack down on refugees

TURKEY has deported the family of a Kurdish woman who was kidnapped and tortured by jihadist forces in Syria during last autumn’s Turkish military offensive.

Police officers stormed the workplace of Salih Temo, the father of Women’s Protection Unit (YPJ) fighter Cicek Kobane, on Monday, arresting him and his sons Mahmut and Mustafa.

All three were then taken from the border town of Suruc into Syria via the Mursitpinar crossing. Mr Temo said he had bee beaten by Turkish security forces and had almost all of his fingers broken.

Ms Kobane’s remaining family members, who have lived in Suruc since the 2014 Turkish-backed Isis attack on Kobane, are also expected to return to Syria, although it is unclear whether they will go voluntarily or will be victims of another forced removal.

The YPJ fighter was kidnapped by the Fallaq al-Majd jihadist group, which is part of the Muslim Brotherhood-linked Ahrar al-Sham Corps.

She was photographed and filmed while surrounded by armed militia fighters. In the video footage, the jihadist group’s founder Yaser Abdul Rahim can ber heard threatening to “cut [her] throat” and calling her a “PKK [Kurdistan Workers Party] pig.”

Her disappearance triggered global outrage and she was eventually transferred to Turkey, where she remains in a high-security prison. 

Ms Kobane faces charges of disturbing the unity and integrity of the state, membership of an armed terrorist organisation and attempted murder.

The family’s deportation to Syria comes as regional tensions are running dangerously high.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has sent thousands of Syrian refugees to his country’s border with Greece, whose security forces have used brutal violence to prevent them entering.

Despite the shooting dead of a Syrian man earlier this week, EU leaders praised the Greek government for acting as “the shield of Europe” against refugees.

European Commission president Ursula von Leyden pledged €700 million (£609m) to help Athens crack down on refugees trying to enter the EU.


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