President Erdogan says that despite Ankara's warnings, Sweden has taken no action to extradite nearly 130 terrorists or stop PKK/PYD terror groups' demonstrations in Stockholm.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has stood firm on Ankara's demand for Sweden to extradite terrorists to Türkiye before the Nordic country could join the NATO security alliance.
"We've told them (Sweden), 'Look, if you don’t extradite the terrorists you have, then we can’t ratify this (NATO membership) in our parliament’,” Recep Tayyip Erdogan told a youth meeting on Sunday.
Erdogan was referring to Sweden and Finland’s pledges last June to take a firm stance against terrorism in order to gain NATO membership.
“First of all, they need to extradite nearly 130 terrorists in order for their bids to pass our parliament, (but) unfortunately, they have yet to do this," he added, speaking in Mugla province in southwestern Türkiye.
Erdogan added that PKK demonstrators are often seen on the streets of the capital Stockholm. He said that Ankara has repeatedly warned Stockholm about the situation.
"Despite our warnings, unfortunately, there was no action on stopping PKK/PYD demonstrations."
"If they do not take a stand against this situation in Sweden, it could make tension in our ties grow even more," he added.
READ MORE: No 'concrete' measures by Sweden to address security concerns: Türkiye
On terror list
Even though the PKK is on the official European Union list of terrorist groups, Erdogan said they are also seen in Germany, France and the UK.
"We will determine our attitude towards them accordingly," he stressed in his speech.
In its more than 35-year terror campaign against Türkiye, the PKK – listed as a terrorist organisation by Türkiye, the US, and EU – has been responsible for the deaths of over 40,000 people, including women, children, and infants. The YPG/PYD is its Syrian branch.
Under a June memorandum between Türkiye, Sweden, and Finland, the two Nordic countries pledged to take steps against terrorists in order to gain membership in the NATO alliance, which they are seeking in light of the nearby Russia-Ukraine war.
Unanimous agreement from all NATO members – including Türkiye, a member for more than 70 years – is needed for any new members to be admitted to the alliance.
Türkiye has praised some steps taken by Sweden and Finland but says the countries need to do more, particularly in the wake of recent demonstrations last week in Stockholm, which reportedly threatened directly the Turkish leader.
READ MORE: Swedish professor punishes Turkish student over Sweden’s NATO bid