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Thursday, Feb 02, 2023

Turkey slams Sweden’s refusal to extradite reporter

Turkey slams Sweden’s refusal to extradite reporter

Turkey on Tuesday slammed Sweden’s refusal to extradite a reporter that Ankara has demanded in exchange for its ratification of Stockholm’s NATO membership.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan wants Sweden to return dozens of people that he suspects of involvement in a failed 2016 coup.

But the now-closed Today’s Zaman newspaper’s former editor-in-chief Bulent Kenes was the only person Erdogan mentioned specifically by name.

Sweden’s Supreme Court cited the risk of Turkey’s “persecution based on this person’s political beliefs” when it blocked the request on Monday.

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu lashed out at the decision in brief comments to reporters.

“The rejection of our request for the extradition of Bulent Kenes is a very negative development,” Cavusoglu said.

Cavusoglu stressed that Sweden’s extradition earlier this month of one man suspected of membership of a banned Kurdish insurgency group was insufficient to win Turkey’s approval.

“If they expect that they can return one person and then close this affair, this is not realistic,” Cavusoglu said.

“We no longer want to hear good words from Sweden and Finland, we want to see concrete steps.”

Sweden and Finland broke with decades of military non-alignment and decided to apply for NATO membership in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Turkey and Hungary remain the only NATO member states to have failed to ratify the Nordic countries’ applications.

Cavusoglu said he would have more discussions about the dispute during a visit to Ankara on Thursday by Swedish Foreign Minister Tobias Billstrom.
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