Turkish Justice Minister Bekir Bozdag said Wednesday that Turkey will seek the extradition of 33 “terror” suspects from Sweden and Finland as a result of a memorandum the three countries signed that supported Helsinki and Stockholm’s NATO bids.
Turkey’s main objection to Sweden and Finland’s NATO membership was over their alleged ties to the Kurdish militant group PKK and the presence of people affiliated with the organization inside the Nordic countries. Turkey wants suspected PKK members to be extradited, and Bozdag said it will seek the handover of the suspects “within the framework of the new agreement” that was signed on Tuesday in Madrid.
According to a leaked version of the agreement shared by a Reuters reporter, Sweden and Finland agreed to address Turkey’s “pending deportation or extradition requests expeditiously and thoroughly.” The Nordic nations also agreed to “establish necessary bilateral legal frameworks to facilitate extradition and security cooperation with Turkey.”
Cooperating with Turkey’s extradition requests could cause political turmoil inside Sweden, as the Swedish government recently relied on the support of an independent MP of Kurdish heritage to survive a no-confidence vote. Amineh Kakabaveh’s single vote ensured the ruling Social Democrats would stay in power, and afterward, she said the government agreed not to give in to Turkey’s demands to gain her support.
Responding to Sweden’s deal with Turkey, Kakabaveh said it was a “dark day” for the country’s foreign policy. “It also puts a lot of stress on people who have sought asylum and sanctuary in this country, but now no longer feel safe because Sweden is selling away their basic rights,” she said.
Kakabaveh demanded that Swedish Foreign Minister Ann Linde appear before the foreign relations committee to explain the deal. If she’s not satisfied, Kakabaveh said she will launch a no-confidence vote. It’s not clear if the measure would gain much support since most Swedish lawmakers support NATO membership. The previous no-confidence vote was launched against the justice minister and wasn’t related to foreign policy.