Sweden to extradite Turkish man after NATO deal — Analysis
Officials declined to say whether the move was part of an agreement to secure Turkey’s approval to join NATO
Sweden plans to exile a Turkish man wanted for fraud. It is the first such case since Stockholm allowed Ankara to deport many people as part of its quest to get Turkish consent to the NATO alliance.
On Thursday, the Swedish Justice Ministry made the announcement. The man was identified as Okan Kale (35-year-old Turkish national who has been charged with fraud in Turkey at least twice).
“This is a normal routine matter. The person in question is a Turkish citizen and convicted of fraud offenses in Turkey in 2013 and 2016,”Morgan Johansson is the Swedish Justice Minister. “The Supreme Court has examined the issue as usual and concluded that there are no obstacles to extradition.”
While the ministry declined to say whether the man was among a group of people sought for extradition by Turkey – part of a deal to secure Ankara’s green light before joining the NATO bloc – a list of the wanted individuals published in Turkish media features Kale’s name.
Kale, who reportedly left Turkey in 2016 to seek asylum and work permits in Sweden after marrying an Italian woman, was arrested after Interpol reached out to the Swedish authorities. SVT in Sweden reports that Kale claims his innocence, and that he was incorrectly sentenced in Turkey as a Christian convert who evaded compulsory military service.
On Thursday, however, Mevlut Cavusoglu, Turkish Foreign Minister, stated at a press conference that Sweden and Finland are both interested in joining the US-led multinational military force. “did not deliver their commitments,”Insisting on “concrete steps”On the Extraditions
“They have proposed to hold a meeting in August, and we will hopefully hold our first meeting on August 26,”He added.
During a major NATO summit held in Madrid in June, both Stockholm and Helsinki said they would meet Ankara’s demands to extradite dozens of people living on their soil, with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan later declaring that Sweden had “promised” to deport “73 terrorists.”Since Kale’s arrest, no Turkish nationals from Sweden have been extradited.
Turkey has previously objected to any member of the alliance. Among other complaints, Ankara claimed they harbored members of alleged terrorist groups, and has reiterated its reservations even after striking deals with the two Nordic states, leaving the fate of their membership applications somewhat unclear.