The Reuters news agency says it has seen a letter in which Sweden tells the Turkish leadership what steps it has taken to fulfill Turkey’s requirements for NATO membership.
Swedish has sent a letter to the Turkish leadership listing “concrete actions” it has taken to meet Turkey’s demands for Sweden and Finland’s NATO membership.
The Reuters news agency says that it has seen the letter.
The two-page letter lists 14 examples of steps Sweden has taken to show that it is “fully committed to implementing” the actions it agreed with Turkey and Finland in the summer.
Finland and Sweden decided in the spring to apply for membership of the military union after Russia attacked Ukraine. Most NATO countries immediately welcomed the new northern members, but Turkey unexpectedly resisted.
President of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdoğan accuses Finland and Sweden of protecting Kurdish militants. Turkey has tried to suppress the independence aspirations of the country’s Kurdish minority and is fighting against the Kurds on its borders.
Turkey allowed NATO membership applications to be submitted only after Finland and Sweden signed a “memorandum of understanding” with it, in which they promised to respond to Turkey’s “security concerns”.
In his letter According to Reuters, Sweden tells the Turkish leadership that it has increased, for example, “anti-terrorist measures” against Kurdish fighters.
According to Reuters’ Swedish official source, the letter was delivered to Turkey over the weekend.
“We have taken concrete steps in all the core points of the agreement,” Sweden writes according to Reuters.
Turkey has demanded that Finland and Sweden arrest and return to Turkey dozens of Kurds who have worked in the Kurdish party PKK, classified as a terrorist organization.
In the letter, Sweden says that the security police “increased their work against the PKK” and visited Turkey for meetings with the Turkish intelligence service. In addition, the Swedish Security Police has made a new analysis of the role of the PKK in Swedish society.
“The analysis will probably lead to concrete results,” the letter says.
Sweden also says that it has extradited one Turkish citizen to Turkey on August 31 at Turkey’s request and that it will “quickly and carefully process the pending extradition requests of terrorist suspects”. During the processing, Sweden promises to take into account information from the Turkish intelligence service.
Finland and Sweden have long assured that they will cooperate to address Turkey’s concerns and that they will waive arms export bans to Turkey.
So far, however, the actions have not been enough for Erdoğan. In turn, Kurdish organizations and human rights organizations have expressed their concern that Turkey will succeed in using the NATO membership negotiations as leverage to trample on the human rights of Kurds in the Nordic countries.
Recently, it has really seemed that Finland and Sweden are giving in, and Turkey is at least partially getting what it wants.
Sweden’s new foreign minister Tobias Billström has said that he believes that Turkey and Hungary, which have so far opposed NATO membership, will vote on the matter soon. According to him, Sweden intends to fulfill all the commitments it agreed with Turkey “to the letter”.
Erdoğan, on the other hand, announced that he would soon meet with Sweden’s new prime minister by Ulf Kristersson to discuss NATO membership and handovers.
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