Erdogan requires ‘constructive steps’ with Biden on F-35 program

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Jan 15, 2021

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan hopes the incoming Biden administration will take “positive steps” relating to Turkey’s exclusion from the F-35 stealth fighter program. 

“We don’t know what the Biden administration will say at this stage,” Erdogan informed reporters in Istanbul on Friday. “Despite having paid a serious fee on the F-35s, the F-35s still have not been given to us. This is a serious wrong the United States did against us as a NATO ally.” 

“My hope is that, after we hold talks with Biden as he takes office, we will take much more positive steps and put these back on track.”

The Trump administration booted Turkey from the Joint Strike Fighter program in July 2019 over its multibillion-dollar buy of the Russian-made S-400 missile protection system, which the United States says poses a menace to NATO’s air protection capabilities and will compromise the safety of its personal F-35 stealth fighter jets.

Turkish officers keep that Russia gained’t be capable of receive any delicate NATO info as a result of the S-400s gained’t be built-in into the alliance’s air-and-missile infrastructure. They additionally say Turkey was pressured to purchase the controversial techniques, which they examined in October, after the United States refused to promote Turkey its personal Patriot techniques. 

Last month, Washington slapped long-awaited sanctions on Turkey beneath the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA) — the primary of their form in opposition to a NATO ally. The sanctions focused the nation’s protection procurement company and its senior officers, however not Turkey’s monetary system.

Turkey condemned the sanctions, and Erdogan stated Friday his authorities is in talks to obtain a second consignment of the Russian-made system. 

“We take our defense-related steps without seeking permission from elsewhere,” Erdogan stated. “We won’t allow another country to steer our path.”

The CAATSA sanctions are the newest wrench in an already thorny US-Turkey relationship. Ties between the NATO allies have worsened in recent times, partly resulting from Ankara’s navy actions in opposition to the Syrian Kurds, its Mediterranean Sea dispute with Greece and Cyprus and a US felony case in opposition to a state-owned Turkish financial institution.

President-elect Joe Biden, who has referred to as Turkey’s president an “autocrat,” is anticipated to take a harsher stance on US-Turkey relations in contrast with President Donald Trump’s. Middle East Eye reported Thursday that the president-elect has but to take Erdogan up on his supply for a cellphone dialog since Biden’s election victory in November.