Home WORLD EUROPA NATO membership: Erdogan again threatens Sweden and Finland

NATO membership: Erdogan again threatens Sweden and Finland


Speaking to the press at the end of the Atlantic Alliance summit in Madrid, he called on the two Nordic countries to play their part in the fight against terrorism on pain of burying the memorandum signed on Tuesday evening.

Since mid-May, Ankara has blocked the process of enlargement to these two countries, accusing them of protecting Kurdish fighters from the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) and the People’s Protection Units (YPG), whom it classifies among terrorist movements.

However, on Tuesday evening, the Turkish, Swedish and Finnish governments signed a memorandum of understanding which opens the access of the two Nordic nations to the Atlantic Alliance.

Thursday, the Turkish president spoke for the first time since this surprise signing. And he set his conditions.

If they fulfill their duty, we will submit [le mémorandum] in Parliament for its adoption. If they don’t, it’s out of the question for us to send it to Parliament…he warned.

A senior Turkish diplomat in Washington has assured that the adoption process could come at the earliest end of September and could wait until 2023, with parliament going into recess from Friday.

Mr Erdogan mentioned a promise made by Sweden regarding the extradition ofterrorists”,”text”:”73terrorists”}}”>73 terrorists. They will send them back, they promised. It is in written documents. They will keep their promisehe added without further details.

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Justice independent

Stockholm reacted Thursday evening by recalling that its decisions on extradition were subject to justice independent.

In Sweden, Swedish law applies with independent courtssaid the Minister of Justice, Morgan Johansson, in a written statement sent to AFP.

Non-Swedish persons can be extradited at the request of other countries, but only if this is compatible with Swedish law and with the European Convention on Extraditionhe insisted.

Recep Tayyip Erdogan did not give details Thursday on the 73 people targeted, but Ankara has been calling for several years for the extradition of Kurdish activists or those close to the Gulenist movement exiled in Sweden.

The Turkish Head of State also called on Finland and Sweden to complete their laws relating to the presence on their soil of members of the PKK and YPGwhich operate on Turkey’s borders in northern Iraq and Syria.

What matters is that the promises made to Turkey are kepthe insisted.

At the center of all attention at the opening of the Madrid summit, when he threatened to veto the accession of the two countries, the Turkish president thus returned to it at the end.

From blackmail

In the corridors of the summit, a European diplomatic source did not hesitate to speak of blackmail about Turkey’s head of state who authoritatively took the stage in the summit’s largest press room on Thursday, succeeding White House chief Joe Biden.

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According to the memorandum signed on Tuesday, Turkey lifts its veto on the accession of the two Nordic countries to NATO in exchange for their cooperation with regard to the members of the Kurdish movements concerned.

The next day, Ankara had already claimed its due, demanding from Sweden and Finland the extradition of 33terrorists”,”text”:”terrorists”}}”>terrorists.

All are members of PKKconsidered a terrorist organization by Ankara and its Western allies, or the movement founded by the preacher Fethullah Gülen, which Mr. Erdogan accuses of having fomented the coup attempt of July 2016.

The request had been coldly received in Helsinki and Stockholm.

All these cases have already been solved in Finlandcommented the Finnish President, Sauli Niinistö.

The Finnish Ministry of Justice, for its part, specified that it had no new extradition requests from Turkey in recent days.

Swedish Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson for her part promised on Wednesday [combattants] from PKK“,”text”:”to cooperate more closely with Turkey regarding the lists of [combattants] of the PKK”}}”>to cooperate more closely with Turkey regarding the lists of [combattants] from PKK.

But we will of course continue to respect Swedish law and international lawshe added in a message posted on Instagram.

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