Turkey blocks Sweden and Finland from joining NATO. Talks were scheduled for Friday – Erdogan fans celebrate, Stockholm and Helsinki are silent.
Helsinki/Ankara – Sweden’s and Finland’s accession to NATO is still not a foregone conclusion: President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s Turkey apparently wants to continue to exploit its position of power – and stall the two Scandinavian countries. Another meeting was scheduled for Friday (26 August), weeks after the basic agreement was reached in Madrid.
The preliminary skirmishes revealed a lot about the situation in the conflict over the green light for NATO membership: Sweden and Finland initially published hardly any information about the date. An expert saw the government in Stockholm in a situation that had not been seen for decades. In Turkey, on the other hand, the media close to the government gloated over the political situation. And while Swedish observers assumed that formalities would be discussed in Helsinki, there was talk of new, very specific demands in Turkey.
Turkey and Sweden’s NATO accession: guesswork about date – expert warns of legal violations
The alleged main point of contention is nevertheless known: the extradition of Kurdish people, especially from Sweden to Turkey. Ankara demands the extradition of suspected “terrorists”. But people whom Erdogan’s government gives this label do not necessarily have to fit into a Western European definition, as experts recently warned: Some of them could simply be members of the opposition. A dilemma for the Swedish government – just before the parliamentary elections. Recently there was also excitement in Central Europe about a planned deportation of a Kurd from Sweden to Turkey.
The question of extradition is “politically sensitive,” political scientist Jan Hallenberg told the newspaper Days Nyheter. “If people were extradited who would otherwise not have been extradited, that would stain Sweden’s record as a rule of law. But even if it isn’t, this is so sensitive that the government doesn’t want to talk about it,” he said. “It’s like running on raw eggs and hoping not too much breaks.”
And indeed: according to the report, Stockholm only announced that it was a follow-up meeting for the NATO memorandum from Madrid and otherwise referred to the host country Finland – which for its part only confirmed that the meeting would take place. Such follow-up meetings are laid down in the paper, Hallenberg explained. He sees Sweden in a diplomatic situation that has not been so explosive since 1949.
Even after the agreement in principle with Turkey on accession, it was Sweden criticized a “bow” to Erdogan. In addition to concerns about censorship, concerns about unjustified extraditions quickly became louder. After all, the Foreign Ministry tried to disperse this before the Turkey talks: They do not want, will not and can never deviate from the fact that decisions about the fate of individual people are made on the basis of human rights and court judgments, the Swedish radio quoted Vice- Secretary of State Robert Rydberg. There will be no political interference.
Erdogan’s minister threatens Sweden and Finland: NATO accession will “not advance a step”
But that’s exactly what Turkey is obviously banking on. Justice Minister Bekir Bozdag (AKP) once again called on Sweden and Finland to extradite “terrorists” to Turkey. Opposite the Turkish newspaper milliyet He stressed that if countries assume “they can convince us that they are fulfilling their obligations by handing over traditional criminals, then they are wrong”. So far, the Swedish and Finnish governments have not responded to Turkey’s expectations regarding returns.
There are people for whom extradition has been decided. “But the people are not terrorist criminals,” said Bozdag. There was not even a negative response from Helsinki and Stockholm. “We await an answer,” underlined the Turkish minister. Bozdag warned the Scandinavian countries: If there is no progress, Sweden and Finland’s accession to NATO will “not make any progress”.
There was also more to learn about the date in Turkey: The Erdogan-friendly newspaper Turkiye reported that Turkey would go into the meeting with a 350-page report. The report should show that the predominantly Kurdish YPG in Syria and the banned PKK are the same organization. Turkey classifies the YPG as a terrorist organization, while the group is seen by the West as an ally in the fight against the IS terrorist militia.
Erdogan media celebrate NATO stalemate: “Homework for Sweden and Finland”
In any case, talks with the Scandinavian countries took up a lot of space in the Turkish media. After the memorandum, pro-government media in particular spoke of a “diplomatic victory” for Turkey. Now they followed up on this portrayal and painted the picture of a “strong Turkey” under President Erdogan.
One of the pro-government Yeni ShafakThe cartoon published in the newspaper could summarize what Erdogan’s environment thinks about the situation. It shows three faceless people sitting at a table. Two of the people who are supposed to represent Sweden and Finland are sitting on the left side, leaning forward slightly and sweating. The third person on the right side of the table, on the other hand, depicts Turkey and is seated upright with hands resting confidently on the table. “The NATO homework of Sweden and Finland” reads the large lettering above the caricature. In order to persuade Ankara, the Scandinavians would have to come to the table with “concrete guarantees”.
At the same time, the newspaper wrote that Turkey would reaffirm the ten demands from the memorandum in meetings with Sweden and Finland. “You will give us these terrorists,” read another headline in the newspaper. Turkey has updated the list of “terrorists,” it said. Yeni ShafakColumnist Erkan Önalan accused Sweden of “stalling tactics”. Another pro-government newspaper sabah, wrote of a “critical meeting” between the countries where the issue of “terrorist repatriation was on the table”. Turkey insists on its “resolute stance”. sabah. (fn/bb)
#Sweden #secret #meeting #Turkey #delicate