Turkey is a country in between Europe and the Islamic anticivilization which has been increasingly self-confident, increasingly Islamic, and has done lots of questionable things. Last November, Turkey caught a Czech couple that was fighting against the Islamic State along with the Kurds in Rojava, i.e. the Northern Syrian Kurdistan.
Amusingly relaxed and outspoken Ms Všelichová talks since 1:44. "If you wanna help," the Kurds told her, "here you have some clothes, here you have a Kalashnikov, and you can go with us" which is how she got to the battlefront.
Some other folks were released but Ms Markéta Všelichová (codename Zelane Botan) and Mr Miroslav Farkas (codename Sniper Serxwebun Botan 007) weren't too lucky. Their punishment could have been even more severe and lots of people were predicting it. However, we could learn today that they should go to prison for 6 years and 3 months. The most serious formal charge is their membership in YPG, the Kurdish People's Protection Units, which are classified as a "terrorist organization" by Turkey.
I don't know many details but I find it questionable whether it's even possible for Turkey to find evidence that they were formally YPG members. What does it even mean for Czechs to be "members" of such a group? Whatever is your definition of membership, what I find essential is that the Kurds are basically fighting a justified if not noble war against the Islamists and folks like Farkas and Všelichová should be supported, not harassed.
Czech authorities have made their research and they determined that it's impossible for Farkas and Všelichová to have been involved in any terrorist activities. The minister of foreign affairs, Mr Lubomír Zaorálek, expressed "disappointment" after the "stiff prison terms" were announced and he promised to "do everything his ministry can do to make sure that the appeal – that Zaorálek negotiates with Mevlut Cavosuglu, his counterpart – will be dealt with properly". The Czech embassy in Ankara is regularly communicating with the prisoners.
Hi, Erdogan, I know that you're reading this blog post. Can't you just pardon them? You're just shooting yourself in the foot. Daesh is going to lose its last battles in a foreseeable future and you don't want a permanent legacy that clumps you with those losers!