"Conditions on F-16 sale not acceptable"
Turkish presidential spokesperson said on Tuesday that they will not accept any condition that may be imposed by the US Senate in the context of a potential sale of F-16 fighter jets to Turkey.
The US House proposed in July allowing President Joe Biden to sell Turkey upgraded F-16s on condition that Ankara won’t deploy them for unauthorized territorial overflights of Greece.
Presidential spokesperson Ibrahim Kalin told a group of reporters on Tuesday in Ankara that Turkey will not buy F-16 warplanes from the US if restrictions are imposed on their use.
Asked to comment on claims that the US administration might also bring to the table a bid for Sweden's and Finland's accession to NATO in exchange for the F-16 deal, Kalin said:
"We are hearing about similar things as well, that the Congress may impose such conditions. There are rumors. We have also been informed that these are not the demands of the administration. This is our assessment. If some senators, like [Bob] Menendez, set this as a prerequisite, and if they simultaneously respond positively to Greece's demand for F-35s, this will mean that they will no longer have a neutral position in NATO."
"If they make this a prior condition, it will not be acceptable for Turkey, and we will take no further steps (...) It would be better not to have any negotiations at all if they are intending to bring the issue of Sweden's and Finland's NATO membership into the deal, because we will not take any step back."
Kalin added that they will take other paths if they are imposed conditions by the US.