Sweden extradited PKK member to Turkey, fulfills a NATO condition
Mahmut Tat, who is a member of the PKK, is extradited from Sweden to Turkey.
Sweden has extradited a convicted member of the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), which is a designated terrorist group by Turkey. Mahmut Tat was convicted by Turkey, which sentenced him to 6 years and 10 months in jail for his PKK membership.
Tat sought asylum in Sweden, fleeing to the country in 2015 - however, his request for asylum was rejected. Extraditing PKK members to Turkey was one of Ankara's conditions for Stockholm's NATO accession.
One request vs. a long list of conditions— Al Mayadeen English (@MayadeenEnglish) June 28, 2022
While #Turkey had a long list of conditions from #Finland and #Sweden, all the two Nordic states wanted was to join #NATO.
Here's your guide to understanding on what basis the agreement was made. pic.twitter.com/Aw7Jtu7frp
On Friday, Tat made it to Istanbul after detainment by Swedish police, according to the Anadolu Agency. Soon after, he was arrested by Turkish police at the airport and referred to court today, Saturday, according to the NTV broadcaster.
Previously, Ankara has accused both Finland and Sweden of providing a safe haven to terrorist groups, including the PKK, thus refusing to ratify the two countries' applications to access NATO despite a Madrid agreement in June.
Stockholm and Helsinki ditched military non-alignment, looking to join NATO since May; however, Turkey and Hungary have to ratify the applications.
On Wednesday, Turkey said that Sweden's new government was more determined to address Ankara's security concerns in return for NATO membership but called for "concrete steps".
Memorandum of mutual benefit
On June 28, the two Nordic countries signed a trilateral memorandum of understanding with Turkey in which they pledged to address Ankara’s concerns over their stance toward the PKK, YPG, and the Gulen movements.
In the memorandum, the two Nordic countries had agreed to lift their embargoes on weapons deliveries to Turkey, which were imposed in response to Ankara's 2019 military incursion into Syria.
Erdogan's office confirmed in late June that Finland and Sweden agreed to abandon "the embargo in the field of the military-industrial complex" of Turkey, adding that the two countries also agreed to amend their national legislation "in the field of counter-terrorism and the defense industry."
Finland and Sweden will also ban "fundraising and recruitment activities" for the Kurdish militants and "prevent terrorist propaganda against Turkey," Erdogan's office said.
The statement mentioned that the two Nordic countries also agreed to cooperate with Turkey on the deportation and extradition of "terrorism suspects".
Turkey announced on July 21 the establishment of a "permanent committee" to meet with Finnish and Swedish officials in August and review whether the two countries are meeting Ankara's conditions for ratifying their NATO membership aspirations