Justice Minister Bekir Bozdag said that if Sweden wants to join NATO, it must extradite “terrorists”.
Bozdag said, “If they think that by extraditing ordinary criminals to Turkey, they will make them believe that they have fulfilled their promises, they are wrong. Nobody should test Turkey,” he said.
Sweden announced on 12 August 2022 that the extradition request of Okan Kale, who was sentenced to 14 years and 7 months for fraud, was accepted.
Speaking to Milliyet newspaper, Bozdağ said, “So far, the Swedish and Finnish governments have not fulfilled their extradition demands in line with Turkey’s expectations. The Swedish Prime Minister also made a statement, ‘We have made an extradition decision. This is in accordance with the law.’ The person he gave is not related to terrorist crimes,” he said.
Swedish Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson had stated that they would comply with the terms of the tripartite memorandum signed at the NATO summit in Madrid to address Turkey’s concerns.
“We are waiting for a response from them”
Stating that they have problems with the extradition of terrorist crimes, Bozdağ said, “We have not received a single decision regarding the extradition of the FETO members, PKK members and other terrorist organization members, whom we wanted extradited to Turkey due to terrorist crimes. We have not received a negative answer either. “We did not receive a negative response from the channels. We are waiting for a response from them,” he said.
Turkey, a NATO member, has stated that since mid-May, Sweden and Finland’s accession to the Atlantic Alliance will be accepted subject to the ‘extradition condition’.
At the end of June, the Foreign Ministers of Turkey, Sweden and Finland signed a memorandum of understanding enabling the two Nordic countries to join the Atlantic Alliance.
The next day, Turkey requested extradition to the two countries for 33 people, most of whom were considered “terrorists” by Ankara.
The first Turkish citizen whose extradition was accepted by Sweden was Okan Kale, who was convicted of fraud.
A meeting between Turkey, Finland and Sweden on the NATO membership process is expected on 26 August. According to Swedish media, the meeting will take place in Sweden.
So far, 20 out of 30 NATO members have approved the membership applications of the two Scandinavian countries.