Turkish Justice Minister upset over Sweden's decision to extradite common criminal

Turkish Justice Minister upset over Sweden's decision to extradite common criminal
Update: 18 August 2022 22:25
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Turkish state media has said Sweden rejected extradition of four "PKK members", erroneously naming a dead writer, a rogue anti-terror operative and a prominent journalist and publisher.

Turkish Justice Minister criticized Sweden and Finland for not fulfilling their obligation regarding a deal the three countries made on 28 June, which involved extradition of Turkish citizens convicted of "terror" offenses.

Speaking to government media Milliyet, Bekir Bozdag said:

"If they believe that their obligations are fulfilled by extraditing common criminals, they are mistaken. Nobody should try and test Turkey."

He continued:

"The governments of Sweden and Finland have not yet carried out any extradition in accordance with the expectations of Turkey. Swedish Prime Minister recently said, 'We have decided on an extradition and it is a lawful decision.' We didn't say it is unlawful. The thing is, the case they refer to has nothing to to with terror offenses."

Sweden recently informed that Okan Kale, a Turkish citizen who had been convicted of credit card fraud and who fled to Sweden in 2016, would be extradited, Turkish state news agency AA reported on Friday.

Dead writer, prominent publisher and rogue anti-terror operative targeted by AA as "PKK members"

While AA also said that Ankara's request for the extradition of four PKK members has been rejected by Swedish authorities, it erroneously named a writer, Mehmet Sirac Bilgin, who died in 2015.

The other two people who AA claims to be "PKK members" are Ragip Zarakolu, a prominent journalist, publisher and human rights activist, and Aziz Turan, a name used by Abduladir Aygan who served in 1990s under the notorious JITEM, Turkish Gendarmerie's anti-terror branch that has been accused of many extrajudicial killings.

The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) ruled in September 2020 that the rights of Ragip Zarakolu were violated when he was held in custody for five and a half months in 2011-12 over "terror" charges.

The Court ordered Turkey to pay Zarakolu 6,500 in compensation.