“You did not keep your word and your promises regarding a deal F-35 and F-16 aircraft And this will have a price.” With these words, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan addressed the United States.
In statements he made during a meeting with young people in the state of Bilecik, central Turkey, the president stressed that there is a counterpart to the American actions, referring to Washington’s failure to conclude the aircraft deal until today.
The Turkish president’s statements came after his country urged America, weeks ago, again regarding the desired deal, as Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu told his American counterpart, Anthony Blinken, during his recent visit to America, that Ankara’s abandonment of its objection to Sweden and Finland joining NATO should not be A precondition for the sale of F-16 fighters.
He also urged President Joe Biden’s administration to be decisive about its pursuit of the sale of F-16 fighter jets to Ankara, and to persuade Congress to drop its opposition to a planned $20 billion deal.
Davutoğlu stressed that the administration should not waste such an important deal between two allies just because one person or a few people object to it. You should not give in, he said.
Davutoglu also indicated at the time that Ankara was awaiting Washington’s approval of the F-16 fighter jet deal in line with the strategic interests of the two countries, and said that his country’s request for F-16 fighter jets was not important to Turkey, but also to the security of NATO and the United States, he said.
Strengthening the defense partnership
It is noteworthy that US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken met last week with his Turkish counterpart, Mevlut Cavusoglu, in Washington, DC, within the framework of the second ministerial meeting of the strategic mechanism between the two countries.
The talks at that time included expanding NATO membership, as well as the sale of F-16 fighters to Turkey.
In a joint US-Turkish statement, the two sides discussed strengthening the defense partnership, including modernizing the Turkish fleet of F-16s.
The American position has not changed!
A spokesman for the US State Department said, US President Joe Biden believes that the United States should sell Turkey F-16 fighters to modernize its current fleet, but without any official move on the matter.
Relations between the two countries witnessed a years-long cooling between the two NATO members, following Ankara’s purchase of Russian missile defense systems in 2019, which led to its exclusion from the F-35 fighter jet program.
Until Turkey returned and urged America to resolve the issue with Davutoglu’s visit to the United States, to no avail.