Ankara will not support Nordic countries’ NATO membership bids unless they resolve their alleged support for terrorism
Sweden and Finland have rejected Turkey’s request for the extradition of members of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) and the Gulen movement (FETO), Turkey’s Anadolu news agency reported Monday. Ankara considers these groups to be terrorist organizations, and has threatened to block Sweden and Finland bids for NATO membership if Turkey does not suspend its activities.
According to the report, the Turkish Ministry of Justice has requested the extradition of six FETOs and six PKK members from Finland in the last five years, as well as 10 FETO and 11 PKK members from Sweden. The ministry identified 33 suspects as “terrorists”.
The extradition request of 19 of these terrorist suspects has been rejected, five have been ignored, and the extradition process of nine is underway – two in Finland and seven in Sweden – the report continues.
Finland and Sweden announced on Sunday that they had formally decided to file for NATO membership, after decades – or in Sweden’s case, of centuries – of neutrality since Russia’s military operation in Ukraine began in February. Although the United States and its allies have promised a speedy decision, joining the Nordic alliance requires the unanimous consent of 30 member states, and Turkey has threatened to cut off its support.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has called on Sweden and Finland “Guesthouse of a terrorist organization” He told reporters on Friday “We can’t stand it” Their membership.
Erdogan’s adviser, Ibrahim Kalin, told Reuters a day later that the president’s remarks were primarily aimed at Sweden, which supported the Syrian branch of the Kurdish YPG, the PKK, during the Syrian civil war and has six Kurdish members in parliament. In recent years, Turkey has repeatedly sent troops to Iraq and Syria to fight Kurdish militants.
“We are not closing the door. However, we are raising this issue as a matter of national security in Turkey. Kalin explained. “What needs to be done is clear: their PKK outlets, activities, organizations, individuals and other types of presence … must stop allowing them to exist in those countries.”
The NATO leadership is confident that it can allay Turkey’s concerns. “Turkey is an important ally and concerns that are resolved between friends and allies,” he said. NATO Deputy Secretary General Mircia Giona told reporters in Berlin on Sunday. “I am confident if these countries [Finland and Sweden] Decide to join NATO, we will be able to welcome them, to find out all the conditions for fulfilling the consensus.