Turkey, Sweden begin two-day talks over Kurdish extradition
Ankara has previously urged both Sweden and Finland to support Turkey in its fight against Kurdish armed groups in Syria, as a condition to their NATO membership application
By News Desk - October 05 2022

(Photo Credit: AFP)

On 5 October, Turkey and Sweden kicked off their two-day talks on the Turkish extradition request for terror suspects in Sweden, as per the recent NATO agreement.

The Turkish delegation is headed by Director General of Foreign Relations Kasım Cicek, who is meeting with a Swedish delegation at the Justice Ministry in Ankara.

Ankara has previously urged both Sweden and Finland to support Turkey in its fight against Kurdish armed groups in Syria, as a pre-condition to agreeing to their NATO membership request.

Sweden and Finland signed a memorandum of understanding on 29 June on the sidelines of the NATO Summit to join the intergovernmental military alliance.

Turkey has accused Sweden of financially aiding the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) and the People’s Protection Unit (YPG), two groups that allegedly pose a threat to Ankara’s borders and security.

The trilateral agreement stipulates that Sweden and Finland will have to take measures to stop “terrorist activities” on their soil and extradite members of these organizations to Turkey.

“Finland and Sweden will address Turkey’s pending deportation or extradition requests of terror suspects expeditiously and thoroughly, taking into account information, evidence, and intelligence provided by Turkey, and establish necessary bilateral legal frameworks to facilitate extradition and security cooperation with Turkey, in accordance with the European Convention on Extradition,” states the memorandum.

The announcement follows last week’s decision of Sweden’s Inspectorate of Strategic Products (ISP) to lift the ban on exporting military equipment to Turkey as part of the concessions made by Stockholm in their pursuit to join NATO.

Both Sweden and Finland sought membership in NATO earlier this year, shortly after the start of the Russia-Ukraine conflict.

However, the process was halted after Turkey raised several objections, claiming Sweden-funded Kurdish militant groups that supposedly pose a threat to Turkey, such as the YPG and PKK.

Last month, Sweden’s Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson pledged not to extradite any wanted Kurdish-Swedish citizens to Turkey.

“Despite our agreement with Turkey, we will not hand over any Kurd with Swedish citizenship to Turkey,” she said.

Andersson reassured double citizens, saying that “those that do not commit terrorist acts, have nothing to worry about.”

Turkey and the two Scandinavian countries reached an agreement earlier that would allow Sweden and Finland to join NATO in exchange for wanted terror suspects, who have been accused of being members of the Kurdistan Workers Party, which Turkey labeled a terrorist organization.

The agreement came to fruition in August when Sweden extradited a man in his thirties accused of fraud. It was the first extradition from Sweden to Turkey.

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