Turkey welcomes the extradition of the Kurdish militant


Turkey has welcomed Sweden’s extradition of a convicted Kurdish militant, but has signaled it expects more action before Ankara approves Stockholm’s application to join NATO.

Ankara has demanded that Sweden and Finland have a tougher attitude towards the Kurdish groups that Turkey considers “terrorist”, in exchange for the support of these two countries for NATO membership.

“The return of the PKK [Kurdistan Workers’ Party] terrorist is the beginning of showing [Sweden’s] sincerity,” Justice Minister Bekir Bozdag said.

“We hope that there will be other extraditions”, added the Turkish minister.

Sweden on Friday extradited Mahmut Tat, who was wanted by Ankara because he is part of the PKK, a group that is listed as a terrorist by Ankara and its Western allies.

Tat, who was sentenced to more than six years in prison by a Turkish court, left for Sweden in 2015 but had his asylum application rejected by the Swedish authorities.

He was arrested by Turkish police after arriving at Istanbul airport and taken to prison.

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