Sweden has still not extradited those wanted by Ankara, Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said.
Sweden has still not extradited individuals accused of terrorism-related crimes by Turkey despite pledging to do so last month in a deal that saw Ankara lift its veto on Stockholm’s NATO membership bid , Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said on Wednesday.
“The people whose extradition we have requested have not yet been sent to Turkey”, Cavusoglu said in an interview with Turkish network TV100, adding that Sweden and Finland, another NATO hopeful that was party to the deal, must stick to their commitments.
Spurred on by Russia’s offensive in Ukraine, Finland and Sweden decided to join NATO after decades of neutrality, formally applying to join the alliance in May. However, for a candidate country to be accepted into the military alliance, the unanimous consent of all current members is required.
Turkey initially opposed the two countries’ offers and set several conditions that Ankara must meet for it to change its mind. Last month in Madrid, the three parties signed a memorandum in which Sweden and Finland pledged to end their embargo on arms sales to Turkey and to crack down on Kurdish individuals and groups that Ankara called them terrorists. Among them are Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) activists who have sought asylum in Sweden and Finland, and supporters of exiled cleric Fetullah Gulen.
“So while we appreciate the statements made by the Swedish government and the country’s foreign ministry, we will have to see them actually fulfill the obligations under the memorandum,” he added. said the official.
Cavusoglu’s words followed a stern warning from Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan who said last week that Ankara could still veto Finland’s and Sweden’s NATO membership bids if they fail to comply. not their obligations under the agreement.
Later in the week, the Turkish Foreign Ministry reportedly summoned Sweden’s top diplomat in the country to express the government’s decision. “strong reaction” at a demonstration organized by a Kurdish group in Gothenburg.