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Will Turkey Leave NATO?

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Will Turkey Leave NATO?
« on: May 08, 2018, 04:42:41 am »

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Will Turkey Leave NATO? 'You Can’t Control Us' – Turkey Threatens to Retaliate if US Blocks Sale of 116 F-35s

'In the latest sign that Turkey is seriously considering leaving NATO as its relationship with the security bloc (and the US in particular) continues to deteriorate, Turkish Prime Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu warned on Thursday that the country would retaliate if a bill being pushed by House Republicans to block arms sales to Turkey becomes law.

As Reuters reports, lawmakers released details on Friday of a $717 billion annual defense policy bill that included a provision to temporarily halt weapons sales to Turkey. During an interview with broadcaster CNN Turk, Cavusoglu criticized the measure, saying it was wrong to impose such a restriction on a military ally, alluding to the fact that Turkey has graciously allowed the US to use its Encirlik air base to launch its air strikes against ISIS (as well as against Turkey's enemy the Syrian regime of Bashar al-Assad). Spam_A Spam_B 

"If the United States imposes sanctions on us or takes such a step, Turkey will absolutely retaliate," Cavusoglu said. "What needs to be done is the U.S. needs to let go of this."

While still a ways away from becoming law (and its unclear if President Trump, who has publicly praised Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan) the proposed US National Defense Authorization Act would block sales of "major" arms to Turkey until a report on the relationship between the US and Turkey (which is also a component of the law) is completed by the Pentagon.

The implied target of the bill would be the 116 F-35 Lightning II fighters that Washington has promised to sell Ankara, of which 100 are almost ready to be delivered.

The bill is in many ways a response to Turkey's recent purchase of S-400 air defense systems from Russia. Though Turkey's relationship with Russia is still far from amicable (indeed, the two countries almost became embroiled in a military confrontation after Turkey shot down a Russian jet that was allegedly flying through its airspace back in 2015), the purchase has unnerved NATO and the US. The Russian weapons, Reuters notes, aren't compatible with NATO's defense systems.'

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