On Thursday, Turkey’s justice minister said Sweden’s decision to extradite a man who is wanted in Turkey for fraud falls short of Ankara’s demands under a deal that allowed Stockholm to apply for NATO membership.
Turkey wants Sweden and Finland to extradite suspected members of the Kurdish militant group PKK and people allegedly involved in a 2016 coup attempt. But the man Sweden announced it was extradited to Turkey last week isn’t linked to these groups and was only convicted for credit card fraud.
“If they think that by extraditing ordinary criminals to Turkey they will make us believe that they have fulfilled their promises, they are wrong,” Turkish Justice Minister Bekir Bozdag said. “Nobody should test Turkey.”
According to The New Arab, Turkey formally requested the extradition of 21 suspects from Sweden and 12 from Finland. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said that the Turkish parliament could block Sweden and Finland from joining NATO if Ankara’s demands aren’t met.
Sweden and Finland’s NATO memberships need to be approved by each legislature of the alliance’s 30 members. At this point, most countries have ratified their memberships, including the US, and Turkey is the only one that could potentially block the Nordic nations from joining.