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Turkey demands written response from Sweden on Nato bid

Turkey said on Wednesday that it was waiting for a "written response" from Sweden and Finland to Ankara's objections to their Nato bids.

Turkey demands written response from Sweden on Nato bid
Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu delivers a speech as he attends a joint press conference with Irish Foreign Minister Simon Coveney and Norwegian Foreign Minister Anniken Huitfeldt in Ankara, on June 15, 2022. Photo: Adem Altan/AFP

“We have transmitted our questions in writing to these two countries,” Turkey Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu told reporters. “Now we’re waiting for their written responses,” he said.

The two Nordic countries reversed decades of military non-alignment by applying for Nato memberships in May, following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Any Nato membership deal must, however, be unanimously approved by all 30 members of the alliance, and Turkey has thrown a spanner in the works and blocked their bids.

Ankara is accusing the Nordic neighbours of providing a safe haven for the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), listed as a “terrorist” group by Turkey and its Western allies.

Turkey President Recep Tayyip Erdogan told members of his party on Wednesday that “as long as Sweden and Finland don’t adopt concrete measures on the fight against terrorism, our position will not change.”

Nato Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said Monday, during a visit to Sweden, that Nato was working “hard and actively” to resolve Turkey’s concerns “as soon as possible”.

Finland’s Prime Minister Sanna Marin acknowledged on Tuesday that the Nordic bids could stall if agreement with Turkey is not reached before a summit later in June.

Member comments

  1. Sweden should keep out of International Politics as they have no idea of how to deal with the Modern World . This so called Prime Minister should resign as she is a disaster story , and throwing away Sweden’s Neutrality is the biggest and last mistake Sweden could do after the disastrous Immigration Policy of letting the World into the country . Sweden is now by a bunch of incompetent non entities who couldn’t point Ukraine out on a Map if they were paid to , they are so stupid .

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SWEDEN AND TURKEY

Sweden extradites first Turk since striking Nato deal

Sweden's government said on Thursday that it would hand over a Turkish citizen convicted of credit card fraud to Ankara, the first known extradition since Sweden struck a deal with Turkey promising to deal with extraditions "expeditiously and thoroughly".

Sweden extradites first Turk since striking Nato deal

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has threatened to block both Sweden and Finland from NATO membership unless they meet several demands, including the extradition of people Ankara considers “terrorists”.

Erdogan accuses the two countries of being havens for Kurdish militants, specifically highlighting the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).

The man facing extradition was identified in Swedish court documents as Okan Kale, and was convicted in Turkey of credit card fraud in 2013 and 2016.

He sought asylum in Sweden in 2011 but his request was denied. He was granted refugee status in Italy in 2014. Kale’s name features on a list published in Turkish media of people that Ankara wants extradited from Sweden.

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The justice ministry would however not comment on whether the man was on a list drawn up by Turkey. It noted that Ankara had sought his extradition in 2021 — long before the Stockholm’s application to join the North Atlantic alliance in May.

“This is a regular, routine matter,” justice ministry spokeswoman Angelica Vallgren told AFP. “The extradition request was received last year.”

Kale has been held in Swedish custody since December 2021.

In an agreement signed by Sweden and Finland at a NATO summit in Madrid in late June, the two countries agreed to examine Turkish extradition requests “expeditiously and thoroughly”.

Erdogan said Sweden had made a “promise” to extradite “73 terrorists”.

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