Turkey to seek extraditions from Finland, Sweden under NATO deal | NATO News

Turkey’s justice minister said Ankara is seeking to extradite 12 suspects from Finland and 21 from Sweden, according to state media.

Turkey’s justice minister has announced that his country will seek the extradition of 33 alleged Kurdish fighters and coup plotters from Sweden and Finland under an agreement that guarantees support. of Turkey for the two Nordic countries to become NATO members.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan dropped weeks of opposition to Sweden and Finland’s NATO ambitions at talks on Tuesday ahead of the military alliance’s summit in Madrid, Spain. .

Mr. Erdogan appeared after meeting with Nordic leaders when a 10-point agreement was reached under which the two countries vowed to join Turkey’s fight against banned armed groups, such as the Labor Party. Kurdistan (PKK) and quickly extradite the suspects to Turkey.

“Files of six PKK members, six FETO members are waiting in Finland, while records of 10 FETO members and 11 PKK members are waiting in Sweden. We will write about their extradition again after the deal and remind them,” Justice Minister Bekir Bozdag was quoted as saying by Turkey’s state news agency Anadolu.

Erdogan has previously accused Finland and especially Sweden of providing a safe haven for Kurdish fighters.

The agreement states that “Finland and Sweden confirm that the PKK is a prohibited terrorist organization” and that Sweden and Finland vow not to “provide assistance” to the People’s Protection Units (YPG). , a PKK branch in Syria that plays a key role in the US-led anti-ISIL (ISIS) coalition.

Finland and Sweden also pledged to “expeditiously and thoroughly deal with Turkey’s pending extradition or deportation requests for terrorism suspects”.

The agreement also states that “Finland and Sweden are committed to preventing the activities of the PKK and all other terrorist organizations and their extensions, as well as the activities of individuals… related to them.” related to these terrorist organizations”.

The European Union and Washington both recognize the PKK as a “terrorist” organization.

Following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Sweden and Finland abandoned decades of military disengagement and were officially invited to the NATO alliance at Wednesday’s summit in Madrid.

NATO leaders gathered for an important summit in Madrid, Spain, for a group photo.
NATO leaders gathered for an important summit in Madrid, Spain [Kenny Holston/Pool via Reuters]

‘Get what it wants’

Erdogan’s office hailed the agreement with Sweden and Finland as a victory.

“Turkey got what it wanted,” his office said in a statement.

Finnish President Sauli Niinisto on Wednesday told reporters in Madrid that his country “has not yet presented any claims, as far as I know”.

Earlier in the day, the Finnish leader said the signed memorandum did not list any individuals to be extradited and that Helsinki would continue to respect European rules when making extradition decisions.

“Actually, we don’t have any worrisome extradition requests at the moment. We processed 14/16 (Turkey’s request) and two decisions were blocked by the fact that the targets were still unidentified,” Niinisto told reporters.

Swedish Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson said Stockholm would continue to follow local and international law in extradition, adding that her country would not extradite any Swedish citizens.

“We never extradite anyone who is a Swedish citizen and I know some people who have expressed concern being Swedish citizens, so they don’t need to worry,” she said.

“Of course, as before, we will follow international and Swedish law… this means that if a person is not carrying out terrorist activity, then that person need not worry.”

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