Turkey issues warning to NATO candidates
Sweden and Finland will not become NATO members if they continue to ignore Ankara’s extradition demands, Turkish Justice Minister Bekir Bozdag has said.
“Until now, none of the persons accused of terrorism, whose extradition from Sweden and Finland was requested by Turkey, have been returned,” Bozdag told reporters on Saturday.
“Our expectation is not about those accused of fraud. The Swedish and the Finnish governments should understand this very well.”
Bozdag said the process of Sweden and Finland joining NATO “will not move a step forward” unless the matter is resolved.
Turkey agreed to formally back the invitation of the two Nordic states to join the US-led military bloc in June on condition that they would not support organizations that Ankara views as terrorist groups. Turkey has since stated that Sweden and Finland have failed to respect this deal.
Ankara has requested the extradition of 33 people accused of terrorism, according to the country’s media. The Swedish government, meanwhile, said this month that it would extradite one man convicted of credit card fraud.
Swedish Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson said in June that Stockholm is handling extraditions to Turkey in accordance with international and European law. She added that Sweden does not support people who pose a threat to Turkish security.