1. Skip to content
  2. Skip to main menu
  3. Skip to more DW sites

Sweden's top court bars Turkey's extradition requests

July 13, 2023

The court said "dual criminality" had not been met, and that the two people wanted by Turkey risked "being exposed to persecution."

Swedish and Turkish flags at the Presidential Palace in Ankara
Turkey dropped its objections to Sweden joining NATO on MondayImage: Henrik Montgomery/TT/IMAGO

The Supreme Court in Sweden on Thursday said there are "obstacles to extradition" of two Turkish citizens wanted by Ankara for alleged involvement in the so-called Gulen movement.

In a statement, the court said "the requirement of dual criminality" — when a criminal offense in Turkey would also be considered a crime in Sweden — had not been met.

The court also said the two people — who have refugee status in Sweden — "risk being exposed to persecution if they were to be extradited."

Extraditions a sticking point in Sweden's NATO bid

The extraditions were a key demand by Turkey in order for it to back Sweden's NATO membership bid and had been a point of contention until just a few days ago.

Turkey wants the men extradited because it argues they had joined the movement of United States-based Muslim cleric Fethullah Gulen "by downloading and using a mobile application, which is used by the movement's members."

Earlier this week, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan indicated that he was ready to support Sweden's bid to join the security alliance.

No date was given as to when that would happen and support would be in exchange for increased security cooperation and Stockholm's assistance to revive Turkey's longstanding EU membership bid.

Increased trade and investment also formed part of the agreement.

Erdogan's administration blames Gulen for the failed 2016 coup and lists his network as a terror organization.

Turkey and Hungary are the only NATO states who have yet to ratify Sweden's bid, something which requires unanimous ratification.

Turkey’s Erdogan backs Sweden’s NATO bid

kb/sms (AP, AFP)