Finland and Sweden have not extradited a single suspect to Turkey since they promised to review Ankara’s requests, a Turkish minister has said. Turkey made support from the two Nordic countries in the fight against terrorism a condition for NATO entry.
Turkish Justice Minister Bekir Bozdag reported a lack of progress on extraditions in an interview with the new A Haber TV channel on Thursday.
“There are positive talks. They offered some explanations. They have reviews going on. There were no people who have been extradited from Finland and Sweden to us.” said the official.
He noted that his country wants the two Nordic nations to do so “support Turkey’s fight against terrorism” before Ankara would agree to their NATO bid. The US-led military bloc gives each member country a veto against expansion.
Finland and Sweden applied for NATO membership in May, arguing that such a step was necessary to gain protection against Russia. Hungary and Turkey are the only members of the organization that have not yet ratified the applications. Budapest promised to do so by mid-December, but Ankara has not set a deadline.
The two prospective members signed an agreement with Trkiye in June promising to address a list of Turkish concerns. Ankara accused, among other things, the Nordic nations of harboring “terrorists” on their land and fail to clamp down on their activities to finance activities against Trkiye.
The Turkish accusations targeted people they suspect of having links to the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) and the movement of US-based Turkish cleric Fethullah Gulen.
The PKK waged a decades-long guerrilla war against Turkey and is considered a terrorist organization by the EU. Ankara accused Gulen of masterminding a failed military coup in 2016.
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg is visiting Trkiye this week to discuss, among other things, Finland’s and Sweden’s bids, according to the Anadolu news agency.