Silhan Ozcelik, 18, from Highbury, North London, claimed she only ran away from home because she was in love with a man ten years her senior
A Kurdish teenager has been jailed for travelling to Europe to join female forces fighting against ISIS in the first case of its kind in the UK.
Silhan Ozcelik, 18, from Highbury, North London, claimed she only ran away from home because she was in love with a man ten years her senior, who she had met on a market stall.
She had taken to wearing make-up and had laser hair-removal and her barrister, berita62 Peter Rowlands, asked the jury: 'Is this really the first recorded case of a militant wanting a Brazilian before going into action?'
But before she left, Ozcelik had made a 25-minute video for her family in which she proclaimed her support for the outlawed PKK and dubbed herself the 'bride of the mountains'.
Dozens of Britons, many of them former soldiers, have joined Syrian Kurdish forces called the YPG fighting the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS).
But their close allies across the border in Turkey, the Kurdistan Worker's Party (PKK), are on a list of proscribed groups after fighting a three-decade insurgency against the Turkish state.
Ozcelik, who is British born to parents from Turkish Kurdistan, was sentenced to 21 months in jail by Judge John Bevan QC at the Old Bailey.
She left her family home at 7am on Monday, October 27 last year, telling her brother she was going to college to finish some coursework.
Instead of going to college she travelled by tube to St Pancras station where she and a male friend boarded the 8.58 Eurostar to Brussels.
The friend, Sahin Tasyurdu, returned to Britain the next day without Ozcelik.
In the meantime her parents had discovered a letter in which she told them: 'As you read this letter at this moment I will have joined the PKK ranks.
'Believe me, this is the right thing for me to do.
I am so happy right now that I have become a militant. You can watch my reasons for joining in the video.'
In the video she added, in Turkish: 'My fight, my struggle is not just for the Kurdish people it is for all people, for all women. Even if Kurdistan is established today I will not return. I will always completely dedicate myself to liberating people.
Wherever there are oppressed people I will be by them.'
The media studies student said she had been thinking about leaving for 'many years' and had left a diary which, she said, would explain how 'much I wanted to become a guerrilla.'
Ozcelik referred to the besieged Kurdish city of Kobane, which was under attack by ISIS and said: 'Maybe I will go to Kobane, or I will not go.
That is a different matter. It is up to the PKK to decide, but I see myself as a fighter, I see myself as a militant, a guerrilla.'
When Ozcelik eventually flew back to Stansted from Cologne, Germany, three months later she was arrested and told police: 'That will teach me to run away from home.'
Dan Pawson-Pounds, prosecuting, said there was no evidence that Ozcelik was successful in her intention to join the PKK or that she ever went to either Turkey or Syria.
He added: 'It is important to be clear from the outset that this case is not about Kurdish independence in Turkey and it is not about the Syria ***.
'This trial is not about who is right and who is wrong in either Turkey or Syria and you are not being asked to return a verdict on the political situation in either country.
'The prosecution's case against this defendant is that she was traveling to Europe in preparation to join a proscribed terrorist organisation with the intension of fighting in pursuit of a political or ideological cause.'