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Turkey Says No Country Can Expel It From F-35 Program

Turkey Says No Country Can Expel It From F-35 Program

Sunday, 9 May, 2021 - 08:15
Minister of Foreign Affairs of Russia, Sergey Lavrov (L) meets Minister of Foreign Affairs of Turkey, Mevlut Cavusoglu (R) in Moscow, Russia on December 29, 2018. [Sefa Karacan - Anadolu Agency]

Turkey has affirmed that no country from the F-34 program can exclude it from the multinational program.

“This one-sided step neither complies with the spirit of alliance nor is it based on legitimate reasons,” Defense Industry President İsmail Demir said in a statement.

“We said that no country can be excluded from the F-35 program unilaterally. The last letter from the US justified us,” he emphasized.

An official from the Pentagon said in April that the US notified Turkey that it was officially expelled from the program.

He added that according to the statement sent to Ankara, the Joint Memorandum of Understanding opened to participant countries' signature in 2006 and signed by Turkey on January 26, 2007, has been canceled and Turkey was not included in the new agreement.

Other participants of the program were the US, UK, Italy, Netherlands, Australia, Denmark, Canada, and Norway.

Turkey has ordered more than 100 of the F-35 fighter jets, spending $1.4 billion while its defense industry has invested significant sums into the warplanes’ production.

It threatened to resort to legal means after Washington halted delivery to Tukey in July 2019.

Turkey signed a deal with Russia to purchase a new batch of Russian-made S-400 missile defense systems.

A defense company owned by Turkey’s main defense industrial agency signed a contract with the Arnold & Porter law firm to provide “strategic advice and outreach” in a bid to persuade US policymakers to readmit Turkey to the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program.

In December, US President Donald Trump imposed sanctions on Turkey by virtue of Katsa. The sanctions included four officials from the Defense Industry Ministry in addition to depriving Turkey of defense loans that exceed $10 million.

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