Turkey awaits the extradition of 33 terrorism suspects from Sweden and Finland, Justice Minister Bekir Bozdağ said Wednesday, adding that Ankara will remind the Nordic countries of the extradition following the signing of a memorandum.
“The files of six PKK members and six FETÖ members wait in Finland while the files of 11 PKK members and 10 FETÖ members in Sweden,” Bozdağ told reporters in Ankara.
In a trilateral deal with Sweden and Finland, Turkey has demanded that the two countries extradite wanted individuals and lift arms restrictions imposed after Turkey’s 2019 military incursion into northeast Syria.
Turkey agreed Tuesday 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.
After urgent top-level talks with leaders of the three countries, alliance Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said that “we now have an agreement that paves the way for Finland and Sweden to join NATO.” He called it “a historic decision.”
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.
Turkey said it had “got what it wanted” including “full cooperation … in the fight against terrorist groups.”
“Turkey is decisive in following up the issues that take place in the memorandum in the future process,” Bozdağ underlined.
“While this memorandum is highly significant in showing how the will put forth by Turkey in foreign policy bore positive results, it also is important in that the FETÖ, the PYD and the YPG, which were not described as terrorists in international agreements or other texts except for the PKK, were described as terrorists.”
He continued to say that it is vital that a monitoring committee consisting of security, justice and intelligence units is established to watch whether the statements in the memorandum are applied.
“This means it is not sufficient for us that this is written on paper, we will inspect its implementation.”