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29 Jun, 2022 15:24

Turkey wants dozens of extraditions after NATO deal

Requests will be sent to Sweden and Finland after they agree to address Ankara’s “terrorists” concerns, the minister said
Turkey wants dozens of extraditions after NATO deal

Turkey has identified 33 people that it wants extradited from Sweden and Finland and will renew efforts to take them into custody after signing a memorandum of understanding with the Nordic nations, Justice Minister Bekir Bozdag told the media on Wednesday.

“The dossiers of six PKK members and six FETO members await in Finland, while those of 10 FETO members and 11 PKK members await in Sweden,” the official was cited by the  Anadolu news agency as saying.  “We will write about their extradition again after the agreement and remind them.”

The acronyms he used stand for the Kurdish militant movement the Kurdistan Workers' Party and the influence network of US-based Turkish cleric Fethullah Gulen. Ankara considers both of them terrorist organizations. The PKK has waged a decades-long guerilla war against the Turkish government while FETO was accused by Ankara of staging the 2016 coup attempt in Turkey.

The Turkish government has accused Sweden and Finland of harboring “terrorists” and threatened to block their bids to join NATO. The roadblock was seemingly removed this week, after the three nations signed a memorandum of understanding in which the European nations pledged to address Turkish concerns.

Bozdag warned that the document did not mean that the accession process for Sweden and Finland was over and said his country would fight to prevent them from being “an incubator for terrorist organizations.” He was referring to funding the networks of targeted groups that allegedly operate in Europe, which the two governments pledged to eradicate.

Finnish President Sauli Niinisto said on Tuesday that the memorandum did not include any list of individuals slated for extradition. He also said his government would make its decision on whether to hand over suspects to Turkey based on European law. Swedish Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson made similar remarks about the policies of her country.