‘Türkiye expects deportation of terror suspects, not other crimes’ - M5 Dergi
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‘Türkiye expects deportation of terror suspects, not other crimes’

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Ahead of a trilateral meeting, Ankara is reiterating that it is expecting the extradition of terrorist suspects by Sweden and Finland, including people affiliated with the PKK and FETÖ

Türkiye is expecting the deportation of terrorist suspects from the Nordic countries under a recent deal and not those of other crimes, Justice Minister Bekir Bozdağ said on Saturday.

Speaking to journalists in Istanbul on Ankara’s expectations for the trilateral meeting scheduled for Aug. 26, Bozdağ said that Türkiye’s demands were recorded in the memorandum of understanding signed between Sweden and Finland, that both the Swedish and Finnish governments committed to fulfilling Ankara’s demands, and they registered these commitments with their signatures.

“So far, none of the persons accused of terrorism offenses from Sweden and Finland, whose extradition has been requested by Türkiye, have been extradited,” Bozdağ underlined.

“There has been no positive official return to Türkiye about any person who has been tried for terrorist crimes in Türkiye and whose extradition has been requested,” he said.

A deal Sweden and fellow NATO aspirant Finland signed with Türkiye in June commits them to “expeditiously and thoroughly” examine Ankara’s requests for suspects linked to a 2016 coup attempt and PKK terrorists.


The Swedish government said earlier this month that it would extradite Okan Kale – a man convicted of credit card fraud who appeared on a list of people sought by Ankara published by Turkish media.

“Our expectation is not about those who are accused of fraud. The Swedish government and the Finnish government need to understand this very well. Türkiye’s request concerns the persons whose request is accused of terrorist crimes and whose extradition is requested by Türkiye. There are no problems between Türkiye-Sweden and Türkiye-Finland regarding the extradition of persons accused of other judicial crimes,” Bozdağ highlighted.

“Our expectation is about extraditions related to terrorist crimes. We do not have any expectation from them (Finland and Sweden) regarding the extradition of accused persons for crimes other than that. As long as Türkiye’s expectations on this matter are not met, Sweden and Finland will not be deemed to have fulfilled their promise to Türkiye in the tripartite agreement. The NATO membership process will therefore not go one step further.”

Erdoğan said in July that Sweden had made a “promise” to extradite “73 terrorists.”

The Justice Ministry in June formally requested the extradition of 21 suspects from Sweden and 12 from Finland.

With Sweden and Finland agreeing to cooperate on Türkiye’s fight against terrorism, the three countries are set to convene on Aug. 26 for the first meeting of the joint mechanism committed under the trilateral memorandum, Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu said recently.

Among its many shattering consequences, President Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine has prompted Sweden and Finland to abandon their long-held nonaligned status and apply to join NATO as protection against an increasingly aggressive and unpredictable Russia – which shares a long border with Finland. Under NATO treaties, an attack on any member would be considered an attack against all and trigger a military response by the entire alliance.

Türkiye agreed in June to lift its opposition to Sweden and Finland joining NATO, ending an impasse that had clouded a leaders’ summit opening in Madrid amid Europe’s worst security crisis in decades, triggered by the war in Ukraine.

In a trilateral deal with Sweden and Finland, Türkiye has demanded that the two countries extradite wanted individuals and lift arms restrictions imposed after Ankara’s 2019 military operation into northeast Syria.

Meanwhile, Anadolu Agency (AA) quoted local Swedish media on Friday as saying that the country is set to deport a suspected member of the PKK terrorist group to Türkiye.

Swedish newspaper ETC reported that the 26-year-old Zinar Bozkurt has been detained pending deportation.

Separately, digital news outlet Blank Spot said Bozkurt’s asylum application to Sweden eight years ago was rejected earlier this year and that a decision was made for his deportation.

The Swedish Security Service (SAPO) detained Bozkurt over connections with the PKK terrorist group, it reported, adding that he was deemed a security threat to the Nordic country.

This came roughly a week after reports emerged that Stockholm accepted Türkiye’s extradition request for Kale.

Sweden refused to extradite PKK members Mehmet Sıraç Bilgin, Aziz Turan, Ragıp Zarakolu and Halef Tak, granting citizenship to all four, AA said. Stockholm did not respond to the requests from Ankara for the extradition of Gülenist Terror Group (FETÖ) members Harun Tokak and Bülent Kenes, either.

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