Türkiye to choose another way if the US preconditions F-16 sale: Spokesperson

Türkiye to choose another way if the US preconditions F-16 sale: Spokesperson

Türkiye to choose another way if the US preconditions F-16 sale: Spokesperson

Türkiye will choose another way if the Congress of the United States imposes conditions for sale of F-16 fighter jets demanded by Türkiye, Presidential Spokesperson İbrahim Kalın said on Jan. 31.

Elaborating on claims that a possible deal on F-16s that requires U.S. Congress approval is conditional on Türkiye’s approval of Sweden and Finland’s NATO membership, Kalın said, “We also hear about the preconditions of the congress regarding the F-16 program. We have been informed that there is no such request or desire of the administration.”

Türkiye is also on this position, he said speaking at the event of “Diplomat Academy Camp.”

“If some senators, such as [Bob] Menendez for example, bring this as a prerequisite in Congress, but simultaneously respond positively to Greece’s F-35 request, they will have lost their neutrality position within the NATO alliance,” Kalın said.

If the NATO approval for Finland and Sweden’s NATO bid is brought as a prerequisite, this is an “unacceptable situation for Türkiye,” he said.

“It is out of the question for us to take any steps based on this. If the U.S. administration or congress imposes preconditions on this issue and adopts such an approach, we will continue on our own way,” he stated.

Upon the Turkish government’s request in late 2021, Ankara and Washington negotiated the sale of 40 new F-16 warfighters and 79 modernization kits after Türkiye was excluded from the joint F-35 fifth-generation fighter jet program due to its deployment of Russian S-400 air defense systems. The process is awaiting the approval of the Congress which will also decide on the sale of F-35 fighter jets to Greece.

Reminding that Sweden has amended its anti-terrorism law and that they expressed the time needed for implementation of the law until June, Kalın said Türkiye is not delaying their NATO accession process, but NATO allies already stated their expectations for the Nordic countries’ accession at the next summit in July.

“Other states want these countries to become members at the NATO summit to be held in July. They express their opinion in this direction. There is no blockage or delay due to Türkiye,” Kalın said.

“The Swedish side states that after drafting this anti-terrorism law and putting it into practice, will be able to fulfill Türkiye’s demands in this regard within a legal assurance and framework. Therefore, when the Swedish side, which wants this period, is completed, we will look at the situation again and evaluate accordingly,” Kalın explained.

Turkey, F16,