On Turkey, Sweden balances NATO bournes against fighting crime at home

STOCKHOLM — Last month, a lemon destroyed the front of a house at the edge of the Swedish capital Stockholm, injuring one and intimidating scores of others.

At the scene of the bombing, hours after it had passed, dazed- looking residers collected bits of wood and pipe that had flown across near pathways and a children’s playground.

“ I can still smell gunpowder and I ’m still chancing glass slivers in my hair, ” a 17- time-old occupant of a house near the targeted home told journalists.

“ It feels like a agony, ” she said. “ I still feel like I’m going to wake up in my bed like normal. ”

Over recent weeks, tit- for- tat attacks on homes in Stockholm with links to gang members have boosted, and the bombing in March is allowed to have been an attack on family members associated with a suspected medicine lord.

But the alleged anesthetics headman wo n’t be answering questions from the Swedish police any time soon for one simple reason He’s in Turkey.

The case of Rawa Majid, known among associates as “ the Kurdish fox, ” represents a striking part reversal for Sweden and Turkey.

For the Swedish government, relations with Turkey are a political high- line act, bending its loftiest- precedence foreign policy issue — NATO class — against its loftiest domestic precedence diving violent crime.

After securing himself a Turkish passport under an investment- for- citizenship scheme offered by the Turkish government, 36- time-old Majid, who was raised in Sweden, is for now out of reach of Swedish justice.

“ An repatriation of Rawa Majid from Turkey has been requested, ” public prosecutor Henrik Söderman said in posted answers to questions from POLITICO. “ Turkish authorities have said that the repatriation isn’t possible because Rawa Majid is a Turkish citizen. ”

Who’s the Kurdish fox?
According to a report by Swedish public radio, Majid was born in Iran but moved to Uppsala, about 70 kilometers north of Stockholm, as a child.

He was doomed to eight times in captivity in Sweden in 2010 for medicine offenses, reported to include the running of cocaine imported from the Netherlands. Soon after his release, due to apparent death pitfalls, he moved to Iraq and also Turkey.

Experts suggest that a series of persuasions of demiworld leaders in Sweden — grounded on the cracking of translated dispatches — opened up an occasion for Majid to claim further turf on the medicine request.

The Kurdish fox’s alleged felonious network is arguably the loftiest profile of multitudinous groupings Swedish police say they’re probing. Others include a rival gang called the Dala network, grounded in southern Stockholm and believed to be run by an demiworld figure called the Greek.

Majid remained largely out of the public aspect until beforehand last time, when what’s believed to be a clash between his gang and rivals began to escalate in Stockholm.

A trial connected to one violent incident — the murder of a man in southern Stockholm in March last time was set to start last week, according to the court’s schedule.

A statement from state prosecutors ahead of that trial said the four men and one woman being charged have links to a group appertained to by police as Foxtrot, which Majid is contended to lead.

The statement also noted that Majid is suspected of medication to commit murder.

Majid has made many public statements and it’s unclear if he has a counsel in Sweden. In a recent telephone discussion with Swedish TV journalist Diamant Salihu, Majid denied all allegations against him.

‘ Terrorist ’ logrolling chip
For months now, Turkey has been blocking Sweden’s NATO entry — sought after Russia launched its full- scale war in Ukraine — claiming Sweden is harboring wanted culprits.

Over once decades, Sweden has sought to play the part of protector of mortal rights and free speech in Europe.

It has at colorful stages similar as following a crackdown on dissentients in the wake of an contended achievement attempt in Turkey in 2016 — offered shelter to opponents of the Turkish state fleeing what they’ve described as persecution on political grounds( claims frequently supported by mortal rights groups).

The government in Ankara, still, suggests that the scores of Turkish intelligencers and activists who have sought retreat in the Nordic state over recent times are in fact terrorists and achievement plotters intent on tripping President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.

Swedish courts have been working through Turkey’s expatriation requests in line with an agreement struck at a NATO peak in Madrid last summer between Sweden, Turkey and Sweden’s Nordic neighbor Finland.

So far, Swedish authorities have ruled that one man, Mahmut Tat, should be deported, while others targeted for repatriation by Turkey have been granted the right to remain in Sweden under original shelter laws. Tat had sought shelter in Sweden after being condemned in Turkey of associating with the PKK, which the EU has designated as a terrorist association.

Just last week, Finland saw success with its NATO shot after Turkey eventually backed Finland but it continues to block Sweden.

“ Sweden has opened its arms to terrorists, this isn’t the case with Finland, ” Erdogan said inmid-March by way of explaining his government’s differing position on the two countries ’ NATO flings.

Beyond Sweden’s lesser amenability to accept shelter- campaigners from Turkey, Ankara has also expressed outrage at a recent kick in Stockholm which saw the burning of a Quran.

Amid the shaft in gun deaths in Stockholm, Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson’s government is under pressure to show progress in its examinations into the likes of Majid.

But the Swedish government knows that pushing Turkey too hard might damage its chances of entry into NATO.

The Turkish delegacy in Stockholm didn’t respond to posted questions about the Majid case.

Sweden’s Justice Minister Gunnar Strömmer declined a request for interview. But Ashraf Ahmed, an functionary with the ministry’s unit for felonious cases and transnational judicial cooperation, sought to play down any pressures.