Sat, 30 Sep 2023

Ankara [Turkey], July 7 (ANI/Xinhua): Turkey on Wednesday renewed its extradition requests for "terror suspects" with Finland and Sweden, following a deal it made with the Nordic countries for their NATO bid.

"Today we have renewed some requests that were rejected before and reminded them of some requests that were not responded to," Justice Minister Bekir Bozdag said in a televised interview on Haber Global broadcaster.

Bozdag said the two countries previously did not respond to any of Turkey's extradition requests for "terror suspects" although they were in line with both the international and bilateral agreements.

"Within the framework of the agreement signed between Turkey, Sweden, and Finland at the latest NATO summit, a monitoring committee was established," he said.

Their accession process to NATO was initially blocked by Turkey, which accused the Nordic countries of "supporting" anti-Turkey terrorist groups as they rejected Turkey's extradition requests for suspects affiliated with the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) and the Gulen movement.

The PKK, listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the United States and the EU, has been rebelling against the Turkish government for more than three decades.

The Gulen movement is led by and named after the U.S.-based Muslim preacher Fethullah Gulen, who is regarded by his followers as a spiritual leader. The Turkish government accused the movement of masterminding the 2016 failed coup in which at least 250 people were killed.

On June 28, Turkey, Sweden and Finland agreed on a memorandum of understanding before Ankara lifted its veto ahead of the NATO Madrid summit.

In the memorandum, Finland and Sweden pledged to support Turkey's fight against terrorism, and agreed to address Turkey's "pending deportation or extradition requests of terror suspects expeditiously and thoroughly." (ANI/Xinhua)

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