Sweden fulfils Turkey’s extradition request
Sweden is to extradite a man wanted for fraud to Turkey. This is the first case since Ankara demanded the extradition of a number of people in return for agreement to the Nordic country joining NATO.
The Swedish government has decided to extradite a man wanted for fraud to Turkey. This is the first case since Ankara had demanded the extradition of a number of people in return for agreeing to Sweden joining NATO. As part of the deal, Turkey had submitted a list of people for Sweden to extradite, but has since complained of a lack of progress.
"This is a normal routine matter. It concerns a Turkish citizen who was convicted of fraud offences in Turkey in 2013 and 2016," Swedish Justice Minister Morgan Johansson announced. "The Supreme Court has examined the matter as usual and has concluded that there are no obstacles to extradition."
Okan K., now 35, was sentenced by a Turkish court to a total of 14 years in prison for bank and credit card fraud in 2010 and 2011. As reported by the Swedish radio station SVT, however, he denies the crime and says he was sentenced because of his conversion to Christianity and his refusal to do military service.
Okan K. applied for asylum in Sweden in 2011, but his application was rejected. In 2014, he was granted refugee status in Italy and has been in custody in Sweden since December 2021. According to the Swedish Ministry of Justice, Turkey had already requested his extradition in 2021 - long before Sweden applied to join NATO.
NATO ally Turkey only gave up its veto on Finland and Sweden's application to join the Western military alliance in June after weeks of tense negotiations. Head of state Recep Tayyip Erdogan accused the two Nordic countries of harbouring members of the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) and followers of Islamic preacher Fethullah Gülen. All NATO countries must ratify the accession of Sweden and Finland.