The U.S. House should pass FY23 NDAA Amendment #478 (Pappas / Bilirakis – bipartisan) prohibiting the sale or transfer of F-16s or F-16 modernization kits to Turkey unless it ceases illegal overflights of Greece’s sovereign territory.
The ANCA also supports FY23 NDAA Amendment #208 (Pappas / Bilirakis – bipartisan), which blocks weapons sales to NATO countries that regularly violate the airspace of another NATO country.
Turkish military aircraft, including F-16s, destabilize the Eastern Mediterranean by regularly invading Greece’s airspace, in violation of international law. (Since the start of 2022 Turkey has violated Greek airspace over 2,377 times, including 120 overflights over Greek territory.)
What’s at Stake:
— Peace and stability in the Eastern Mediterranean.
— The potential outbreak of hostilities between Greece and Turkey.
— The rule of law and respect for the sovereignty of NATO borders.
— The growing threat of Turkish aggression against Greece, Cyprus, Armenians, and Kurds.
— The operational integrity and security of NATO air-defenses, in light of Turkey’s purchase of Russian S-400 anti-aircraft missiles.
Why it Matters:
If the United States were to proceed with the sale of F-16s, American-made warplanes would undoubtedly be used to invade Greek airspace, undermining Greece’s security, and violating the Arms Export Control Act, which only allows the transfer of equipment for legitimate self-defense.
— The U.S. should constrain – not arm – Turkish aggression.
— The integrity of the NATO alliance is threatened when one party (Turkey) so brazenly and belligerently overflies another (Greece), using U.S. weapons.
— Access to American weapons systems is a privilege that Turkey must earn, not a right to which it is entitled.
— The U.S. should not reward Turkish dictator Recep Erdogan, particularly as he heads into election season.
— The sale of advanced U.S. fighter jets to Turkey will not incentivize Erdogan to suddenly transform into a good ally. More likely, these weapons will lead to further death and.
— Turkey has threatened to attack America’s Kurdish allies in northern Syria, an assault that would surely involve multiple U.S. weapons systems (including F-16s).
— Turkey supports Azerbaijan’s anti-Armenian aggression with military hardware, intelligence, training, and other resources.
The Big Picture:
In the interest of regional security, the U.S. should not encourage Ankara’s increasingly hostile conduct by selling Turkey advanced weapons systems.
Turkey, specifically their Presidencies of Defense Industries, remains under sanctions through the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA) as a result of their purchase of the Russian S-400 missile defense system.
Multiple bipartisan Congressional letters have been sent – signed by nearly 100 U.S. Representatives – in opposition to selling F-16s to Turkey.
In addition to the ANCA, the following U.S. civil society organizations are on record opposing the sale F-16s to Turkey: American Friends of Kurdistan, American Jewish Committee, Hellenic American Leadership Council, In Defense of Christians, Middle East Forum, and PSEKA – International Coordinating Committee Justice for Cyprus.