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Turkiye says will not buy F-16s from US if conditions imposed on use

August 24, 2022 at 7:05 pm

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu speaks during the 13th Ambassadors Conference in Ankara, Turkiye on August 08, 2022 [Esra Hacioğlu Karakaya – Anadolu Agency]

Turkiye’s Foreign Minister, Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu, said Turkiye will not buy F-16 warplanes from the US if restrictions are imposed on their use, Haber Global TV reports.

According to the report, the US House of Representatives, in July, proposed allowing President Joe Biden to sell Turkiye upgraded F-16s on condition that Ankara will not deploy them for unauthorised territorial over-flights of Greece.

“Technical talks are going very well, but we would not agree to buy a product that could in a way tie our hands,” Çavuşoğlu told Haber Global TV in an interview. “Why should we buy a product that we can’t use? We’re expecting the US administration to continue to work to convince Congress for the sale.”

After Turkiye’s purchase of a Russian S-400 missile-defence system, it was kicked out of the program to help manufacture and buy the next-generation F-35 fighter. Turkiye turned its focus to buying F-16s to upgrade its aging fleet of American warplanes.

Last May, President Erdogan accused Greek Prime Minister, Kyriakos Mitsotakis, of mounting a lobbying effort against Turkiye in the US Congress to block the sale of the F-16s.

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