“NoJetsForTurkey” | Diaspora in the United States reacts to the sale of F-16s to Turkey
Defence Redefined
Published on 18/04/2022 at 12:45

Turkey made a request to Washington last October in order to acquire 40 F-16 fighter jets, but also to proceed with the modernization of about 80 fighter jets already in the fleet of the Turkish Air Force.

Naz Durakoglu, a well-known foreign policy, and national security adviser at the US State Department, took a stand, expressing her positive view of the sale of F-16 fighter jets to Turkey in a letter to Congress. She even argued that “Turkey is a long-time NATO ally, already having the second-largest army in the Alliance.”

She added that “Turkey is actively contributing to NATO missions, including the most recent ones in Eastern Europe, the Black Sea, the Balkans, and Afghanistan. Turkey’s support for Ukraine’s territorial integrity and cooperative defence relations are an important deterrent to bad influence in the region.”

The pressure exerted by Turkey on the United States in order to procure new F-16 fighter jets, but also to proceed with the modernization of 80 more aircraft, has provoked several reactions in the expatriate circles, which utilizing the communication channels offered to the political institutions of the US Congress, expressed their opposition in a letter, even creating a popular “trend” on Twitter called “NoJetsForTurkey”.

According to Ertnews, the letter contains important arguments against the supply of F-16 fighter jets to Turkey, stressing that “there are high-ranking officials in the State Department who are looking for ways to circumvent the sanctions and finally give the F-16s to Turkey, a development that it will be reckless and risky.”

It is for these reasons that members of the Senate are called upon to consider legislative measures to prevent a possible sale unless Turkey shows compliance with CAATSA and ensures that advanced US technology systems are not exposed to Russian or Chinese systems.

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The letter in detail:

“We are writing to express our concern about the request of the Republic of Turkey to purchase 40 Lockheed Martin F-16 fighter jets and 80 modernization kits for its existing aircraft. According to extensive reports in the US and foreign media, the US State Department is seriously considering this request.

Due to the purchase of Russian S400s by Turkey and its failure to be a credible ally, Ankara is unable to acquire new US weapons due to CAATSA sanctions and additional congressional restrictions. Instead of trying to make a good impression on the United States, Turkey insists on maintaining Russian weapon systems and purchasing even more.

We are concerned that senior State Department officials are trying to find ways to circumvent both sanctions and the CAATSA Act, justify US breach of US law and interests and finally allow the reckless sale of new F-16s and modernization kits to Turkey.

With no indication that Turkey intends to stop violating US law, and given the concerns raised by a wide range of experts about the joint stationing of upgraded F-16s in the same “theater” as the Russian S400s, selling F-16s to Turkey undermines US law, values, ​​and interests. The State Department’s claim that there are certain NATO interests that will be served by arms sales to Turkey is refuted by Turkey itself, which violated the Greek airspace with US F-16s when the State Department left such a contingency open.

Access to US weapon systems – including upgraded F-16s – is a privilege that Turkey should earn, not a right it deserves. That is why we urge you to consider legislative measures to prevent the sale of new F-16s or modernization kits, unless it is proven that Turkey complies with CAATSA and that advanced US technology will not be exposed to Russian and Chinese systems.”

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