Turkey blocks Sweden and Finland from joining NATO. In order to change the mind of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the two countries are to extradite 33 people. However, the name at the top of the list died back in 2017.
Sweden and Finland are to extradite a total of 33 people to Turkey in order to get their approval for joining NATO, which can only be unanimous. The people on the list are classified as terrorists by Turkey.
At the top of the list is the name of doctor Mehmet Sirac Bilgin, who once took the name Kekuyon. He had published Kurdish writings and worked at the same time as a radiologist at Uppsala University Hospital.
Bilgin hasn’t worked there for five years now because he passed away in 2017 after a long illness. His son Rehber is not surprised that his father is on the list, but finds the demand absurd. “I’m not surprised that my father is on the list,” he told Norwegian newspaper VG. “However, it is absurd to ask for the extradition of a dead person.”
His father was never a member of the Kurdish terrorist organization PKK, but took the name Kekuyon because he adopted one of the founding members of the Kurdistan Democratic Party.
Rehber Bilgin looks back with horror on the time in Turkey, which he left with his family at the age of eleven. My father was often arrested and tortured in Turkey. I can remember visiting him in prison once as a child and hardly recognizing him. He was marked by hunger and beatings.” Nevertheless, he remained politically active and was often seen on television.