Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar on Tuesday attacked Greece and the Greek American lobby in the United States for seeking to put the brakes on the sale of 40 Lockheed Martin-made F-16 fighter jets to Turkey, however expressing his confidence that the process will not be disrupted.
“With various initiatives, Greece is trying to influence as much as possible the military negotiations between Turkey and the US on the acquisition and modernization of F-16s,” Akar told reporters after a cabinet meeting in Ankara.
“A lawmaker, a group is coming out and stirring things up through certain manipulations and disinformation. We expect the Unites States not to fall for this game,” he said.
American lawmakers last week approved an amendment – sponsored by Greek American Congressman Chris Pappas – that would restrict the Biden administration’s ability to sell the fighter jets or modernization kits to the NATO ally.
Akar expressed his irritation over the setback, stressing that the process of acquiring the fighter jets from the US will continue.
“Turkey is a strong state. There shouldn’t be a conditional issue like ‘I’ll give you this, but you won’t do this’. Our wish is for common sense to prevail,” he said.
“We will continue our work in military, political and diplomatic terms. Our hope is that common sense prevails and reasonable and logical solutions emerge,” he said.