ANKARA (Reuters) – Turkey renewed requests on Wednesday 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 Bozdag said.
Turkey had opposed the two countries’ 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.
Last week, the three nations signed a deal for Ankara to remove its block, while the candidate countries pledged not to support the Kurdish militant PKK and YPG groups or the network of U.S.-based cleric Fethullah Gulen.
Ankara says the Gulen network staged a 2016 coup attempt and labels it a terrorist organisation with the acronym FETO.
“Within the framework of the agreement signed between Turkey, Sweden and Finland at the latest NATO summit, a monitoring committee was established,” Bozdag said in a televised interview with HaberGlobal.
In the text signed last week, 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”.
“Accordingly, today we have renewed some requests that were rejected before, and reminded them of some requests that were not responded to,” Bozdag said.
Turkey, a NATO member of more than 70 years standing with the alliance’s second biggest army, has long demanded that allies halt support for the YPG, a U.S. ally in the fight against Islamic State in Syria.
It has repeatedly traded barbs with the United States, France, Germany, the Netherlands and others over the matter.
(Reporting by Ece Toksabay; Editing by Daren Butler, William Maclean)