Free Shilan Ozcelik the Londoner arrested for wanting to fight ISIS
Do we know yet which side we are rooting for in the Syrian civil war? Once upon a time we are anti-Assad. Then we realised that some of the barrel-bombing dictator’s enemies were not our friends because they started to decapitate and burn people alive in snuff movies starring Islamic State’s leading video blogger Jihadi John. We had thought out best bet were the Kurds, who if not exactly holding the gates of Vienna were laying claim to land they were prepared to fight for.
And then we read of British teenage girl Shilan Ozcelik, 18. She’s been arrested for allegedly trying to fight for the glorious Kurds against Islamic State.
She might be a hero were it not for the British police.
Shilan Ozcelik, who is of Kurdish descent, was nicked at Stansted airport, having travelled from her family home in Holloway, north London. She faces a charge of “engaging in conduct in preparation for giving effect to an intention to commit acts of terrorism under the 2006 Terrorism Act”.
You might want to look out the window and see if the sun is now setting in the East and the world have turned back to front.
Her supporters say she travelled to Brussels in an attempt to join the women’s protection units, also known as YPJ, that are based in Rojava – the Kurdish enclave in northern Syria under attack by Isis.
She was arrested by on 16 January at as she returned from Brussels. Neither the YPJ nor the YPG, the main men’s Kurdish peshmerga militia in northern Syria, are banned organisations in the UK.
The charges against Ozcelik are understood to relate to the Kurdistan Workers party (PKK), which is outlawed in Britain and has spent decades fighting the Turkish army in a separatist conflict.
So. On Wednesday last,Shilan Ozcelik found herself not trying to save civilisation from the ISIS nutjobs but stood in Westminster magistrates court. She’s now behind bars at Holloway prison in north London. And next month, she’ll be in the Old Bailey.
Meanwhile, the Kurds are the only people on the ground the Western powers are backing to defeat ISIS…
Note: a British copper has told Shilan’s fellow London teenagers, Shamima Begum, 15, Kadiza Sultana, 16, and 15-year-old Amira Abase, they will not be arrested should they choose to retutn from Islamic State. Mark Rowley, head of counterterrorism for the Metropolitan Police, says “we have no evidence to support (the teens’) involvement in terrorism.”
Note 2: In January, “Big shot Boris” Johnson, the London mayor, on the Iraqi front line, taking s aim at ISIS with a Kalashnikov as he visits British troops training Peshmerga fighters.