Saturday, November 28, 2020

US defense bill bars Turkey’s F-35 purchase over Pastor Brunson detention

Must read

Turkey’s judicial council rewards judges and prosecutors for their role in gov’t-led prosecutions: report

Turkey’s Council of Judges and Prosecutors (HSK) on Friday named 11 judges and prosecutors, many of whom played critical roles in government-led prosecutions, as...

‘We have to take measures,’ says Erdoğan as opposition questions COVID death toll

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on Friday said his government was obliged to take measures in the face of skyrocketing COVID-19 infections in the...

NATO’s reform plan to make veto more difficult likely to be blocked by Turkey

NATO-appointed experts on Wednesday presented to the foreign ministers of member countries a plan on reforming the alliance, including a proposal to make it...

Belgium’s highest criminal court will convene over Facebook posts insulting Gülen-linked residents

A court in Belgium on November 16 referred 14 Belgians of Turkish descent to the country's highest criminal court over Facebook comments targeting residents...

A US Senate committee passed its version of a $716 billion defense policy bill on Thursday that includes a measure to prevent Turkey from purchasing Lockheed Martin F-35 Joint Strike Fighter jets over the detention of a US pastor, Reuters reported.

The amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) from Democratic Senator Jeanne Shaheen and Republican Senator Thom Tillis would remove Turkey from the F-35 program over its detention of US citizen Andrew Brunson, Shaheen’s office said.

Brunson, a Christian pastor who could be jailed for up to 35 years, denied terrorism and spying charges in a Turkish court this month. He has been in pre-trial detention since 2016.
It also faults NATO ally Turkey for its agreement with Russia in December to buy S-400 surface-to-air missile batteries. Ankara wants the system to boost its defense capabilities amid threats from Kurdish and Islamist militants at home and conflicts across its borders in Syria and Iraq.

According to Shaheen’s office, the intention to purchase the Russian system is sanctionable under US law.

“There is tremendous hesitancy [about] transferring sensitive F35 planes and technology to a nation who has purchased a Russian air defense system designed to shoot these very planes down,” said Senator Shaheen.

Relations between Ankara and Washington have been strained over a host of issues in recent months, including US policy in Syria and a number of legal cases against Turkish and US nationals being held in the two countries.

Turkey has said it would retaliate if the United States enacted a law halting weapons sales to the country.

Turkey plans to buy more than 100 of the F-35 jets, and has had talks with Washington about the purchase of Patriot missiles.

The move to buy S-400s, which are incompatible with the NATO systems, has unnerved NATO member countries, which are already wary of Moscow’s military presence in the Middle East, prompting NATO officials to warn Turkey of unspecified consequences.

The NDAA is several steps from becoming law. The House of Representatives passed its version of the legislation earlier on Thursday. The Senate must still pass its version of the bill, and the two versions must be reconciled before a final compromise bill can come up for a vote in both the House and Senate later this year.

- Advertisement -

More articles

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

- Advertisement -

Latest article

Turkey’s judicial council rewards judges and prosecutors for their role in gov’t-led prosecutions: report

Turkey’s Council of Judges and Prosecutors (HSK) on Friday named 11 judges and prosecutors, many of whom played critical roles in government-led prosecutions, as...

‘We have to take measures,’ says Erdoğan as opposition questions COVID death toll

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on Friday said his government was obliged to take measures in the face of skyrocketing COVID-19 infections in the...

NATO’s reform plan to make veto more difficult likely to be blocked by Turkey

NATO-appointed experts on Wednesday presented to the foreign ministers of member countries a plan on reforming the alliance, including a proposal to make it...

Belgium’s highest criminal court will convene over Facebook posts insulting Gülen-linked residents

A court in Belgium on November 16 referred 14 Belgians of Turkish descent to the country's highest criminal court over Facebook comments targeting residents...

4 detained in police raid of Kurdish party branch, other locations in eastern Turkey

Four people were detained when Turkish police raided the provincial office of the pro-Kurdish Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) and various other locations in the...