Turkey Not Happy With Sweden’s ‘Elegant Promises’ to Crack Down on Kurds

Turkey's parliament still hasn't approved Sweden and Finland's NATO bids

Turkey’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) has said Ankara is not happy with promises Sweden has made to crack down on Kurdish groups in an effort to join NATO, The Cradle reported on Tuesday.

Omer Celik, the spokesman for the AKP, said Monday that Sweden “makes very beautiful, elegant promises at the very highest level … but [they are] not enough until they are implemented.” He added that Turkey is “waiting for it to come to life.”

Turkey signed a deal with Sweden and Finland back in June where the two Nordic countries agreed to cooperate with Turkey on the PKK, a Kurdish militant group that Turkey and the EU consider a terrorist organization. Ankara also wants the two nations to crack down on PKK affiliates.

The new Swedish government of Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson, which took power in October, has said it will fulfill the deal with Ankara, but Celik’s comments signal concrete steps haven’t been taken. Turkey is seeking the extradition of dozens of suspected PKK members and other people accused of being “terrorists” from Sweden.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has warned that the Turkish parliament won’t ratify Sweden and Finland’s NATO bids if the deal isn’t fulfilled. Turkey and Hungary are the only two NATO members that have not approved the Nordic nations from joining NATO.

On Tuesday, Finnish Prime Minister Sanna Marin called on Turkey and Hungary to let them into NATO. “All eyes are now on Hungary and Turkey. We are waiting for these countries to ratify our applications. I think it would be important that this would happen preferably sooner than later,” she said.

Author: Dave DeCamp

Dave DeCamp is the news editor of Antiwar.com, follow him on Twitter @decampdave.