Strait Talk

Did the US Remove the Last Hurdle For Türkiye to Buy F-16 Fighters Jets?

More than a year ago, Türkiye proposed buying dozens of F-16 fighter jets from the US, as a compromise to an F-35 deal that was scrapped back in 2019. US President Joe Biden voiced public support for the F-16 sale, citing its importance to Türkiye's and NATO's defences. But the deal encountered numerous legislative roadblocks in Congress. Now, the final hurdle seems to have been lifted, paving the way for the sale. According to Anadolu Agency, which obtained a draft of a US defence bill, previous amendments attached to the sale of the F-16s to Türkiye, have been dropped. The amendments had imposed several restrictions on the sale, including a prohibition of using the fighter jets to violate Greek airspace. Türkiye had opposed the amendments saying it would not accept any restrictions and hinted it could look elsewhere for fighter jets. Tensions between Türkiye and Greece have risen this year, over Athens's continued militarization of islands in the Aegean, and maritime disputes in the energy rich eastern Mediterranean. Guests Rich Outzen Consultant at the Washington Institute Ali Demirdas Political Analyst

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