There is outrage in Ankara after the House of Representatives ratified Chris Pappas’ amendment to block the sale of American F-16s to Turkey.
Under the Pappas amendment, not only the sale of new F-16 fighters, but also any modernization kit or equipment upgrade to Turkey is expressly prohibited.
Should the US president decide to lift the ban on national security grounds, then he should detail the steps taken to ensure that the weapons are not used to violate another state/member of NATO’s airspace, sovereignty or territorial integrity.
Cold shower for Turkey
As reported by the SKAI correspondent in Istanbul, the Turkish media reported the news in a state of shock. They even commented that “the amendment of the Greek lobby passed – They ask that Turkish fighters not violate Greek airspace“.
Turkish commentators analyzed that with this decision, if it finally goes through the next stages, the balance will change.
Haber Global presenter Giozde Seker said: “We had reported to you about the proposal of the Greek lobby and its member in the House of Representatives, Chris Pappas. This amendment was approved by the Plenary. But all this is a complex process and we need to understand it.”
Lawyer Yunus Emre Erdolen said: “We are not talking about a ban, but about terms of sale. The amendment states that in the event that Biden wants to sell F-16s to Turkey, he must prove that this is in the interest of the US, and must assure Congress that these fighters will not violate Greece’s airspace.”
CNN TURK reported: “They are asking Turkey not to violate Greek airspace”, “The US had set conditions for Cyprus in previous contracts for F-16s”, “Now they are going to give F-35s to Greece”.
CNN TURK anchor Hade Firat said: “They are asking for clear steps to give assurances that the F-16s will not be used to violate Greek airspace. Clearly. And this proposal was accepted with 244 votes, while 177 voted against.
Academic Mesut Haki Casin reported: “In our previous contracts for the F-16s we had reached an agreement so that the F-16s would not violate the airspace of Cyprus. I know because I was the contracting officer. But there was a difference, as then we were talking about two different states. But now we are talking about two NATO member states. But they are preparing to give the Greeks the F-35s. This is what I see. The head of the Armed Forces of Greece is currently at the F-35 factory. Last week, the US military commission visited Athens to discuss the issue.”
Hurriyet newspaper reports that “The sale of the F-16s depends on Biden” and adds: “With the Greek lobby’s move, two conditions were set. For the specific fighters not to fly over the Aegean islands and not to be used against Greece”.
Cumhurriyet reports: “Critical US decision to sell F-16s to Turkey. They are placing conditions regarding Greece!”.