BETHESDA, Md. (AP) _ A former Peace Corps worker on a backpacking trip in Turkey was arrested and charged with aiding Kurdish separatists, the U.S. State Department said Wednesday.

Christopher N. Mrozowski, 34, was kidnapped last month from a bus in eastern Turkey by Kurdish guerrillas. A Polish woman and an Iranian man also were abducted.

The Kurds released all three Friday, and they were then arrested by Turkish authorities and charged with giving assistance to a terrorist organization, a state department spokeswoman said.

Teresa Mrozowski, of Bethesda, said her son holds both U.S. and Polish citizenship and that he had finished a summer job teaching Peace Corps volunteers in Warsaw when he and a friend went on a backpacking trip to Turkey.

Ms. Mrozowski said her son, who attended the University of Maryland before leaving for Warsaw in 1992, has no interest in politics. She last talked to him by phone Aug. 31.

The spokeswoman said consular officials had been to see Mrozowski in a Bingol prison in southeastern Turkey.

The PKK, or the Kurdistan Workers Party, is fighting to gain a separate homeland within Turkey.