Akar: Amendment restricting F-16 jets to Turkey is a trap for US government

Akar: Amendment restricting F-16 jets to Turkey is a trap for US government
Update: 19 July 2022 15:38
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Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar downplayed the amendment conditioning the fighter jets to Turkey and asked the US government “not to fall into this trap”

An amendment to the National Defense Act of the US restricting the sale of F-16 fighter jets raised eyebrows in Turkey. 

“A deputy, and a group came out and they are messing around with some manipulations and disinformation. We expect the US not to fall into this trap," said Hulusi Akar, Turkish Defense Minister, referring to the amendment accepted in the US House of Representatives which ties up the sale to certain conditions. 

The amendment put forward by New Jersey lawmaker Frank Pallone prohibits the transfer of the F-16s unless the US President guarantees to Congress that in the 120 days prior to the transfer the Turkish government has not "violated the sovereignty of Greece, including through territorial overflights.

President Joe Biden last month supported the sale of F-16s after Turkey unblocked Sweden and Finland’s inclusion to NATO.

“We should sell them the F-16 jets and modernize those jets as well," he said. “I need congressional approval to be able to do that. And I think we can get that."

Turkish analyst Murat Yetkin said the Erdogan government could not accept the conditions brought by the amendment and asked: “It did not stop Erdogan from purchasing S-400s from Russia when he was threatened of being removed from the F-35. Do you think he would hesitate to reject such a condition on such a strategic issue for Turkey, such as Greek airspace?”