13:45 GMT +321 June 2018
Listen Live
    F-35

    US Must Halt F-35 Sales to Turkey Over ‘Dangerous’ Provocations - Greek Lobby

    CC0
    Military & Intelligence
    Get short URL
    263413

    A Greek-American lobbying organization and the Armenian National Committee of America have launched an effort to halt the sale of 100 F-35 aircraft to Washington’s NATO ally Turkey over Ankara’s “consistently and steadily more dangerous” provocations, a Greek-American lobbyist said recently.

    "We have gone beyond the over-the-top rhetoric used by Turkey, which seems to want to compete with North Korea for most provocative declarations: Its actions in the Aegean [Sea], its formal action in terms of navtexes (navigational text messages) and notams (notices to airmen) and its deploying naval forces against energy exploration in Cyprus' exclusive economic zone are inviting an escalation that might make the 1996 Imia crisis look tame," Endy Zemenides, executive director of the Hellenic American Leadership Council, told the Greek publication Kathimerini on Tuesday.

    Zemenides referred to a crisis in 1996 in which Turkey and Greece nearly engaged in a military conflict over a territorial dispute about a pair of uninhabited islands in the Aegean Sea, which mostly separates the two countries.

    Congress has already shown a willingness to halt arms deliveries to Turkey. The US Senate voted to block a $1.2 million deal to sell Turkey semi-automatic handguns and ammunition last September following the assault of US protesters and police officers by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's security detail during a visit to Washington last May.

    "There will be very strong opposition in Congress — which already acted against small arms sales to Turkish security forces — and in which measures challenging the F-35 transfer have been circulated," the lobbyist said, noting that Turkey's opponents in Washington are "growing in numbers" while "Congressmen willing to defend Turkey are in pretty short supply nowadays."

    "Turkey has been an unreliable ally," Zemenides added. "Turkey was ambivalent in fighting ISIS [Daesh], which forced the US to seek other allies. When the Kurds emerged as the most effective anti-ISIS allies, Turkey took military action against them. Right now, the US cannot ignore that its weapons are being used by a nominal ally to undermine its strategic goals and interests."

    Related:

    US F-35 Reportedly Starts to Crumble in Okinawa in 'Routine Training Mission'
    Hot Air: Costly US F-35 Fighter Jets Miss the Mark, Denmark Finds
    Lockheed Martin Markets ‘Beast Mode’ F-35 That Doesn’t Exist
    Surprise! Russians Get a Tour of Norway's F-35 Base, Closed for Journalists
    US State Department Approves Sale of 3,900 F-35 Bombs to Australia
    Tags:
    F-35, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Turkey, United States, Greece
    Community standardsDiscussion
    Comment via FacebookComment via Sputnik
    • Сomment