Hurriyet Daily News
May 7, 2022
If Turkey “plays its cards right,” it can convince the U.S. Congress to allow a roughly $6 billion purchase of 40 Block 70 F-16 fighter jets and approximately 80 modernization kits from Lockheed Martin to upgrade its existing fleet, the Defense News reported referring to comments by Congress members.
…Defense News said Turkey’s support for Ukraine, most notably via the export of armed drones and diplomacy with Russia, has presented Ankara with an opportunity to bolster its tarnished image in Congress.
The media outlet reported that several key lawmakers who proved instrumental in expelling Turkey from the F-35 program have “cautiously signaled” to Defense News that they may be inclined to allow Ankara to purchase the F-16s after the Biden administration suggested that such a sale could serve NATO and U.S. security interests.
“We need to talk and work with Turkey and others that are working with us against Russia,” House Foreign Affairs Committee chairman Gregory Meeks, D-N.Y., told Defense News….
The office of Rep. Mike McCaul, R-Texas, the ranking member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, told Defense News: “We expect Turkey to continue standing with its NATO allies who are in lockstep in supporting Ukraine as it defends its homeland.”
“The war in Ukraine is not over,” McCaul’s office said….
The State Department reportedly sent a letter to Congress finding that “there are compelling, long-term NATO alliance unity and capability interests, as well as U.S. national security, economic and commercial interests, that are supported by appropriate U.S. defense trade ties with Turkey.”
May 5, 2022
Several U.S. lawmakers of critical importance in Washington’s potential sale of dozens of F-16 fighter jets to Turkey have stated their inclination in favor of the deal, a report said on Thursday.
The Biden administration previously signaled its approval of the sale in a leaked letter to Congress.
“We need to talk and work with Turkey and others that are working with us against Russia,” Gregory Meeks, chair of the House Foreign Affairs Committee and a Democrat, told Defense News….
“I’ve talked to several of the parties involved in this,” Sen. James Risch, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee’s top Republican, told Defense News. “The Turks have made a credible argument for why they should get the F-16s.”
The apparent bipartisan openness to the deal comes after Congress and the administration have lauded Turkey’s diplomatic efforts with Russia, and provision of much-needed armaments to Ukraine….
“We expect Turkey to continue standing with its NATO allies who are in lockstep in supporting Ukraine as it defends its homeland,” said the office of congressperson Mike McCaul, the top Republican on the House Foreign Affairs Committee.
Naz Durakoğlu, the State Department’s top official for legislative affairs, acknowledged last month in a letter to congressperson Frank Pallone the ongoing tensions over additional arms sales to Turkey but maintained that the sanctions and Turkey’s removal from the F-35 fighter jet program represent “a significant price paid” for its acquisition of Russia’s S-400 missile defense system.
“The Administration believes that there are nonetheless compelling long-term NATO alliance unity and capability interests, as well as U.S. national security, economic and commercial interests that are supported by appropriate U.S. defense trade ties with Turkey,” Durakoğlu told the House Energy and Commerce Committee chair….