Ankara says US bill a 'disrespect' to Turkey's sovereign decisions
Turkey on Dec. 12 slammed the passing of a sanctions bill against Turkey by the U.S. Senate Committee on Foreign Relations Committee, calling it a “disrespect to our sovereign decisions about our national security.”
“The recent attempts carried out with domestic political calculations in both wings of the Congress, which have also been supported by the circles against Turkey, is a new incident of disrespect to our sovereign decisions about our national security,” the Turkish Foreign Ministry said in a statement.
The ministry said these attempts “are beyond damaging U.S.-Turkey relations.”
“We know on what bases the U.S. Senate Committee on Foreign Relations adopted a bill to impose sanctions on our country on the pretext of our Operation Peace Spring and [Russian] S-400 system,” according to the ministry.
It said the reason was “the profound disappointment due to the heavy blow Turkey dealt to the project which has been carefully prepared for a long time.”
“Turkey had responded to a similar bill with a similar content adopted by the House of Representatives on Oct. 29. This time, the bill that is being put on the agenda of the Senate shows that our explanations are not intended to be understood,” the ministry added.
The ministry called on the U.S. Congress to adopt a constructive attitude towards the development of Turkish-U.S. relations, “which will not undermine our common goals”.
Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu earlier on Dec. 11 said Turkey will retaliate if the United States takes negative steps against it, when asked about the prospect of Washington imposing sanctions over Ankara’s purchase of the S-400s.
“Members of the U.S. Congress need to understand that they cannot achieve anything by imposition. If the U.S. approaches positively, we will approach positively too,” he said in an interview with Turkish broadcaster A Haber.
Asked if Turkey will consider closing the İncirlik Airbase in southern Turkey to U.S. aircraft in the event of any sanctions by the U.S. administration against Ankara, he said Ankara will decide upon its assessments in the worst-case scenario and İncirlik Airbase and Kürecik radar system of NATO could be among those retaliation plans.
“İncirlik may come up, and Kürecik may come up. Everything may come up. I don’t want to talk on assumptions. The decision of the administration is important, not the congress. We will evaluate and decide on the worst-case scenario.”
Çavuşoğlu also said Turkey was open to alternatives to buying U.S. F-35 jets, including from Russia, after Ankara was suspended from the program over the S-400 purchase.