F-35 fighter jets. Photo: Reuters

New US legislation which threatens to cancel Turkey’s involvement in the F-35 program prompted a terse response from Ankara on Friday.

Following the bill’s passage in committee on Thursday, Turkish foreign ministry spokesperson Hami Aksoy said that preventing the sale of F-35s to Turkey is “against the spirit of [Turkey’s] alliance with the US,” according to Hurriyet news.

“This is not a program managed solely by the US. It is a multinational program and we expect everybody to fulfill their obligations,” Aksoy said. He added that Turkey has “fulfilled its obligations” regarding the F-35 program.

If the US takes such steps “we will have to respond,” he stressed.

The bill – an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act – was crafted in response to the detention of US citizen Andrew Brunsen, who faces up to 35 years in a Turkish prison on terrorism and spying charges, Reuters reported.

The amendment also cites Turkey’s signing of an agreement with Russia last December to purchase S-400  surface-to-air missile systems.

“There is tremendous hesitancy (about) transferring sensitive F-35 planes and technology to a nation who has purchased a Russian air defense system designed to shoot these very planes down,” said Senator Jeanne Shaheen, one of the bill’s cosponsors.

Asia Times Financial is now live. Linking accurate news, insightful analysis and local knowledge with the ATF China Bond 50 Index, the world's first benchmark cross sector Chinese Bond Indices. Read ATF now. 

4 replies on “Turkey vows retaliation if US bill suspends sale of F-35s”

Comments are closed.