Turkey demands that Sweden and Finland lift all (arms) embargoes on Turkey, change their anti-terror laws to accommodate Turkey’s demands, and extradite all terrorists Turkey wants, according to Justice Minister Bekir Bozdag.
Sweden’s extradition of a Kurdish man with alleged terrorism links last week is a ‘good start,’ Turkish Justice Minister Bekir Bozdag said Monday, but Ankara will not approve Stockholm’s NATO membership until more is done.
Sweden on Friday expelled Turkish citizen Mahmut Tat, who had sought asylum there in 2015 after being convicted in Turkey of having links to the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), which is outlawed.
Turkey welcomed Sweden’s extradition move as a good sign of the Scandinavian country’s seriousness and goodwill, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said on Wednesday.
Turkey, however, made clear that before Sweden’s NATO application could be ratified, further steps would be required.
According to Turkish Justice Minister Bekir Bozdag, all arms embargoes on Turkey should be lifted in line with the trilateral memorandum with Sweden and Finland, and the countries should amend their anti-terrorism laws to extradite all wanted terrorists.
Turkey objected in May to Sweden and Finland’s application to join NATO, because it believed that the two countries were sheltering PKK and other militant groups.
Stockholm and Helsinki have promised to cooperate with Ankara to address its security concerns fully and to lift arms embargoes while denying that they shelter militants.
All 30 nations must approve NATO decisions, meaning that Norway and Sweden must also seek approval. Turkey is the only country still opposing its membership.
Image Credit: AP Photo/Burhan Ozbilici