The Swedish government has announced its intention to extradite a Turkish citizen convicted of fraud to Ankara, the first of its kind since Turkey threatened to freeze Stockholm’s efforts to join NATO.
Swedish court documents show that the person involved in the deportation is Okan Kale, who was charged by Turkey with credit card fraud in 2013 and 2016.
The Swedish Ministry of Justice did not comment on whether the man was on the Turkish list. She pointed out that Ankara was keen to accept it in 2021, long before Sweden applied to join NATO in May.
“This is a normal and routine matter,” Justice Ministry spokeswoman Angelica Wahlgren said, adding that “the extradition request was made last year.”
Kale has been in the custody of the Swedish authorities since December 2021. In 2011, he applied for asylum in Sweden, but his application was rejected. In 2014, he was granted refugee status in Italy.
The name of Kale appears in the list of people published by the Turkish media that Ankara demands from Sweden to hand over to their authorities.