Pallone, Bilirakis warn against US-Turkey F-16 deal
US Representatives Gus Bilirakis and Frank Pallone have called on the Biden administration to reject Turkey’s request to purchase 40 next-generation F-16 fighter jets and upgrade kits for their current fleet. In their letter, they note that under President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Turkey has for years used its military power to destabilize the Eastern Mediterranean, Middle East, South Caucasus, and North Africa.
More specifically, they stress that Turkey and Turkish-backed forces “have utilized American-made weaponry and components during these incursions to commit war crimes” and that granting Turkey’s request “will more likely lead to further death and destruction in the region.” Bilirakis and Pallone also note that the Erdogan regime also continues to carry out undemocratic practices and human rights abuses at home. “Approving this proposal would reward President Recep Tayyip Erdogan for ignoring both Turkey’s alliance commitments to the United States and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and the vast human rights abuses his regime continues to commit at home and abroad,” they say.