Open letter from Swedish citizens to all fellow Europeans, - Parliaments of - EU Member States and the EU Commission
Dear fellow Europeans,
As you know President Erdogan of Turkey is blocking our NATO membership and that of Finland. At the NATO Summit in Madrid Turkey, Finland and Sweden made an agreement in which Turkey promised to drop its blockade against our NATO membership.
Erdogan is now threatening that the Turkish Parliament will not ratify the NATO membership of Sweden and Finland unless 73 people are sent to Turkey. He does not respect the agreement that he signed as he demands these people to be sent to Turkey regardless of Swedish, Finnish and international law on extraditions. This regardless of the fact that the agreement explicitly states that all Turkish extradition requests will be considered within Swedish or Finnish and international law.
We know that many of these people will be tortured in Turkish prisons. Therefore it is crucial that Swedish, Finnish and international law is applied when Erdogan wants people to be sent to Turkey. Many of the people Erdogan wants are political refugees who escaped the Erdogan regime. Swedish or Finnish courts have in many cases already rejected the Turkish requests.
Erdogan does not care about law or justice. He is a dictator that just wants revenge over people who politically resist him. That is why he threatens to continue his blockade against Swedish and Finnish NATO membership. He wants these people sent to Turkey without any Court or judge being able to block it and otherwise he will stop Finland and Sweden to become part of NATO. That means that Finland and Sweden are demanded to end their rule of law.
It is therefore clear that Sweden and Finland are demanded by Erdogan to give up their rule of law in exchange for their defense (NATO membership). This is blackmail and extortion by Erdogan.
The EU Commission and the EU Member States have made it very clear that the rule of law cannot and should not be thrown overboard in any EU Member State. They made that clear to Hungary and Poland. That means that the EU and EU Member States have the duty to help Sweden and Finland and not allow Erdogan to stop the rule of law in these EU Member States. The EU and all EU Member States have the duty to help to protect the rule of law in Sweden and Finland.
Moreover, from the Lisbon Treaty it is clear that the EU cares for the defense and security of the EU Member States. Even more, the EU now helps in the defense of Ukraine that is not an EU Member State. That means that the EU has an obligation to help in the defense of Sweden and Finland and therefore help them to become NATO members.
The EU has the duty to help to protect the rule of law and the defense of Sweden and Finland. The EU has the duty to stop Erdogan’s extortion by which we have to choose between rule of law and defense.
Therefore we urge all Europeans, NGO’s, civil society organisations and all Members of Parliament of the Parliaments of any EU Member State to ask their Parliaments and Governments to put serious pressure on Turkey and demand that it respects the rule of law in Sweden and Finland and lifts the blockade against their NATO membership. Turkey’s economy is on the brink of collapse, Erdogan is supporting extremists abroad and oppressing its own population.
Any EU government can put serious pressure on Turkey if it wants to. This is the chance of all EU Member States the rule of law in the EU and European solidarity really mean something.
Support Sweden and Finland! Demand that your government puts pressure on Erdogan and stop his pressure on the rule of law in the EU!