Ankara expects more extraditions from Sweden, justice minister says

Ankara expects more extraditions from Sweden, justice minister says

Ankara expects more extraditions from Sweden, justice minister says

Sweden’s extradition of a PKK member last week “shows goodwill,” but Türkiye expects more, Justice Minister Bekir Bozdağ said on Dec. 5 elaborating on the Nordic country’s NATO bid.

“Recently, the Swedish government extradited a PKK terrorist and sent him to Türkiye. If you ask what it means in terms of this process [of Sweden’s NATO membership], we see it as a start in terms of showing sincerity and goodwill. I hope it continues with the same sincerity,” Bozdağ told TRT.

Swedish authorities last week deported Turkish citizen Mahmut Tat, who was sentenced to more than six years in jail over being a member of the PKK in Türkiye. He fled to Sweden in 2015, but Stockholm rejected his asylum request.

Tat arrived in Istanbul on the night of Dec. 2 after Sweden detained and extradited him. Turkish police detained him soon after arriving at Istanbul airport and referred him to a court on Dec. 3, which sent him to jail.

After Russia invaded Ukraine, Finland and Sweden in May dropped decades of military non-alignment and sought to join NATO. That requires a consensus within the U.S.-led defense alliance, but Türkiye and Hungary have so far not ratified their membership.

Türkiye has accused Finland and Sweden in particular of providing a safe haven for PKK terrorists and held back on ratifying their NATO bids despite an agreement in Madrid in June.

Türkiye has demanded the Nordic countries take a tougher stance on PKK and its affiliate in Syria, YPG.

Sweden and Finland have taken some steps to address Türkiye’s concerns but Ankara says more concrete actions are needed for the Turkish Parliament’s ratification of their accession to the alliance.

Sweden has recently amended its anti-terror law with promises that it will strengthen the hands of the law enforcement against terror organizations.