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Turkey demands Sweden and Finland extradite 'terrorists' after NATO deal

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan addresses his ruling party legislators, in Ankara, Turkey, Wednesday, May 18, 2022
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan addresses his ruling party legislators, in Ankara, Turkey, Wednesday, May 18, 2022 Copyright Credit: AP
Copyright Credit: AP
By Euronews with Reuters
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The country is asking the NATO hopefuls to hand over some 33 people sought on terrorism charges, Turkish justice minister said on Wednesday.

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Turkey will renew requests for Sweden and Finland to extradite individuals it considers "terrorists" after the countries reached a deal over the Nordic nations' NATO membership bids, Justice Minister Bekir Bozdağ said on Wednesday.

Turkey had opposed their bids over what it called support for Kurdish militants and others it views as terrorists, as well as over arms embargoes and unfulfilled extradition requests.

On Tuesday, the three nations signed a deal for Ankara to remove its block, while the candidates pledged not to support the Kurdish militant PKK and YPG groups.

It also has the two promise not to help the network of US-based cleric Fethullah Gülen, which Ankara says staged a 2016 coup attempt and which it labels a terrorist organisation with the acronym FETÖ.

"The dossiers of six PKK members, six FETÖ members await in Finland, while those of 10 FETÖ members and 11 PKK members await in Sweden. We will write about their extradition again after the agreement and remind them," Bozdağ was cited as saying by the state-owned Anadolu news agency.

According to the memorandum the three countries signed on Tuesday, Finland and Sweden agreed to "address [Turkey's] pending deportation or extradition requests of terror suspects expeditiously and thoroughly [...] in accordance with the European Convention on Extradition".

"We have not been presented any claims for now, as far as I know," Finnish President Sauli Niinistö told reporters on Wednesday in Madrid.

At the same time, Anadolu reported that Swedish Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson said that Sweden will work closely with Turkey on the extradition of suspected criminals in line with international law in a statement to Finnish state broadcaster YLE.

The European Union, Germany, the US and other countries have rejected labelling Gülen and his fraternal movement as a terrorist organisation. Gülen, who has been living in the US since 1999, has rejected any involvement in the 2016 coup.

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