Turkey disappointed by Sweden’s blocking of Turkish man’s extradition
Sweden's Supreme Court decision to block the extradition of Turkish journalist Bulent Kenes is a "very negative" development, Turkey's foreign minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said on Tuesday, as per the agreement for Ankara's approval for it to join NATO.
Bulent Kenes was the editor-in-chief of Today’s Zaman, a newspaper following the lines of the Gulen movement which Turkey blames as the force behind the 2016 coup attempt. Fethullah Gulen, the leader of the group who currently lives in the US, denies the accusations.
Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan last month singled out Kenes as a person Ankara wants extradited from Sweden as a condition for Ankara's approval for Stockholm to join NATO, during a press briefing right next to Sweden’s Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson.
"From the day the membership for Finland and Sweden was brought to the agenda, whatever has to be said has been said so far," Cavusoglu said, adding that Turkey expected “concrete steps, not kind words”
Sweden's Foreign Ministry said it was bound to act in accordance with the Supreme Court's ruling.
Following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Sweden and Finland officially applied for NATO membership in May. Vast majority of NATO members welcomed the two country’s applications, but the final approval of the two Scandinavian countries’ NATO bids has to be ratified in all of the current 30 member states’ parliaments, where Ankara says it will not approve the documents if Stockholm and Helsinki fail to fulfil their commitments, regarding Turkey’s extradition requests of terror suspects.