Wanted Swedes are hiding in Turkey: Stockholm
Stockholm fights fire with fire, claiming that a dozen hardcore Swedish criminals are hidden in Turkey.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has lately told NATO Chief Jens Stoltenberg that until Finland and Sweden take the necessary "steps", Turkey will not ratify their membership of NATO.
Currently, Turkey and Hungary are the the only NATO member states to oppose Sweden and Finland's membership ambitions, while Ankara accuses the Nordic countries of sponsoring and hosting members of Kurdish organizations.
While Turkey insists that Sweden and Finland hand up a number of Kurdish people before joining NATO, Stockholm has turned the tables, claiming that a dozen hardcore Swedish criminals are hidden in Turkey.
Swedish Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson commented on this issue by saying: “People who are hiding from Swedish justice must be brought to Sweden,” Kristersson told the Nordic country’s media. “There are criminals who can be hiding in Turkey, who should be prosecuted in Sweden, so the more cooperation we can have that can bring criminals to justice, the better it is.”
Kristersson emphasized that he discussed the topic with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan recently.
On his account, Swedish national police chief Anders Thornberg said: “We are having a discussion with the Turkish police and our government on this matter. We also have a contact person in Turkey who works on the issue. It is extremely important to send the message that the long arm of the law reaches everywhere.”
According to Swedish media, one of Sweden's most wanted criminals described Turkey as a "gangster's paradise" in encrypted communications.
Tobias Billstrom, Sweden's Foreign Minister, stated that the latest agreement reached by Helsinki, Stockholm, and Ankara will make it simpler for the Swedish legal system to acquire access to offenders on the run in Turkey.
Turkey said on Wednesday that Sweden's new government was more determined to address Ankara's security concerns in return for NATO membership but called for "concrete steps".
Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu met with his Swedish and Finnish counterparts on the sidelines of a NATO gathering in Bucharest.
Ankara has accused the two Nordic nations -- especially Stockholm -- of providing a safe haven for Kurdish groups it deems "terrorists" and held back on ratifying their NATO bids despite an agreement in Madrid in June.
What were the promises?
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 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.