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Turkey renews extradition requests from Finland, Sweden for political dissidents

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Turkish Justice Minister Bekir Bozdağ said Turkey has renewed its extradition requests for political dissidents who are deemed “terrorists” by Turkey from Finland and Sweden under a NATO deal signed last week, the state-run Anadolu news agency reported.

The minister said in televised remarks on Wednesday that his ministry wrote letters to Finland and Sweden reminding these countries of Turkey’s previous extradition requests and that these letters were sent to the relevant countries by the Turkish foreign ministry on Wednesday.

“Within the framework of the agreement signed between Turkey, Sweden and Finland at the latest NATO summit, a monitoring committee was established,” Bozdağ said in a televised interview with HaberGlobal.

In an agreement signed by Stockholm and Helsinki at the NATO summit in Madrid last Tuesday, the two Nordic countries agreed to examine Turkish extradition requests “expeditiously and thoroughly.”

“Accordingly, today we have renewed some requests that were rejected before, and reminded them of some requests that were not responded to,” Bozdağ added.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan last Thursday said at the end of the NATO summit that Sweden had made a “promise” to extradite “73 terrorists” and threatened to block NATO membership if the commitments were not met. Before this statement, there was only a talk of the extradition of 33 people.

However, Swedish Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson, who was pressed several times on Sunday to say if such a promise had been given, simply repeated Stockholm’s position.

She said Sweden will continue to respect national and international laws, no Swedish nationals will be extradited and that the decision will be up to independent authorities and courts.

Bozdağ said the extradition files sent to the two countries were very strong; hence, Turkey expects to receive a positive response.

Turkey demands the extradition of people including some journalists and writers who allegedly have links to the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) or the Gülen movement.

The Turkish government labels the faith-based Gülen movement as a terrorist organization and accuses it masterminding a failed coup in July 2016. The movement strongly denies involvement in the coup attempt or any terrorist activity.

The PKK is listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey and its western allies.

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