ANKARA, Turkey ( Associated Press) — Turkey’s foreign minister said Thursday that his government acknowledges the steps Sweden has taken so far to seek approval to join NATO, and that Stockholm is a victory for Ankara. Not even “half” of fulfilling the list of promises. help.
Mevlut Cavusoglu claimed that a Swedish court’s decision not to extradite the man had “poisoned” the positive atmosphere in talks over Sweden’s membership in the military alliance Turkey alleged links to the failed 2016 coup was accused of.
Sweden and Finland this year abandoned their old policies of no military alignment and decided to try to join NATO after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The measure requires unanimous approval of the 30 current members of the coalition.
Turkey has delayed the process, while pressing the two Nordic countries to crack down on groups that Ankara considers terrorist organizations and extradite people wanted for terrorism-related crimes.
The parliaments of the 28 NATO countries have already ratified the membership of Sweden and Finland. Turkey and Hungary are the only members that have not ratified yet.
In a joint press conference with Swedish Foreign Minister Tobias Billström, Cavusoglu said the Turkish government was still waiting for “concrete developments” on extradition and confiscated assets.
“There is a document, it should be implemented. We’re not even half there. We are at the beginning,” he said, referring to a memorandum that Turkey, Sweden and Finland signed in June.
Under the document, the two countries agreed to address Turkey’s security concerns, including deportation and extradition requests for Kurdish militants and those linked to networks run by US-based Muslim cleric Fethullah Gülen. The Turkish government accuses Gülen of orchestrating the 2016 coup attempt, which he denies.
Billstrom’s visit comes days after the Swedish Supreme Court refused to extradite journalist Bulent Canes, who Turkey accused of being part of the coup plotters. Keynes, who was granted asylum in Sweden, was editor of the English-language newspaper Today’s Zeman, which was owned by the Gülen network and closed by the government as part of a crackdown on the group.