Türkiye remains one of the two NATO members yet to ratify their accession since the two Nordic countries officially applied to join NATO in May.
Türkiye demands concrete Finnish and Swedish actions to address Turkish security concerns over extraditing hostile groups members before it unblocks their accession into the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO).
Türkiye remains one of the two NATO members yet to ratify their accession since the two Nordic countries officially applied to join NATO in May against the backdrop of the Russia-Ukraine conflict. Their accession procedure officially started in July after 30 NATO members, including Türkiye, signed accession protocols. It then went to the parliament of each member to ratify their accession to the military alliance.
However, Ankara has been complaining that the two countries moved slowly in fulfilling their commitments over Turkish security concerns, which are the deportation and extradition of members and associates of the Kurdistan Worker's Party (PKK) and the Gulen Movement.
Delegations from Turkish and Finnish justice ministries held a technical meeting last week in Ankara on the extradition requests, a follow-up on the security pledges Finland made along with Sweden in June, when the three countries reached an agreement, with the other two promising to support Türkiye's fight against terrorism and agreed to address its "pending deportation or extradition requests of terror suspects expeditiously and thoroughly."
"Türkiye expects Finland and Sweden to support its efforts to combat PKK and the Gulen movement. It expects concrete measures," said Oytun Orhan, an analyst at the Ankara-based Center for Middle Eastern Strategic Studies.
Sweden PM said "we embrace NATO with ALL capabilites and we go hand to hand with Finland"— LogKa (@LogKa11) November 1, 2022
The world’s safety is being completely threatened by these 2 states.pic.twitter.com/8M6BBlxGTn
The PKK is blacklisted as a terrorist organization by Türkiye and Western allies like the European Union. The Gulen Movement is led by and named after the U.S.-based Muslim preacher Fethullah Gulen, of which Ankara accuses masterminding the failed coup in 2016 that killed at least 250 people.
While the two NATO-aspirant countries are reported to have made concessions over the PKK, this does not apply to members of the Gulen movement, who are not considered terrorists in the West.
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is expected to meet later this week in Türkiye with NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg, and next week with Sweden's newly elected Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson to discuss Turkish demands.
"There are very few precedents for political extraditions to be realized in international law," political risk analyst Batu Coskun said, adding that Türkiye's reservations about Sweden and Finland's membership bear another consideration -- beefing up its foreign policy to impress voters in the runup to the next presidential and parliamentary elections in mid-2023.
However, both Orhan and Coskun concluded that Turkey will eventually approve Finland's and Sweden's membership.
"It would be far too costly for Türkiye to block this process in an open-ended manner, particularly when there are concerns in the West about the nature of Turkish-Russian relations," Coskun he added.
Video News: President Vladimir Putin has proposed to President Erdogan that Türkiye could serve as a base for Russian gas exports by creating a distribution platform that would also allow prices to be regulated. #russia #Turkey #Turkiye #GasPrices #Video pic.twitter.com/HCmRS7jutj— teleSUR English (@telesurenglish) October 14, 2022