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Erdogan says Turkey will recoup money paid to U.S. for F-35 jets -Breaking


© Reuters. Turkish President Recep Tyyip Erdogan addresses a news conference in Abuja with Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari on October 20, 2021. REUTERS/Afolabi Sotunde

ISTANBUL, Reuters – President Tayyip Erdogan stated that he believes Turkey and the United States can make progress in negotiations for F-16 fighter plane sales and Ankara will recoup the $1.4 billion paid by Ankara for F-35s they are blocked from purchasing. The Anadolu news agency reported Thursday.

Erdogan claimed that the USA offered Turkey to sell the F-16s for Ankara in exchange for Ankara paying a downpayment on F-35s. This was blocked by Washington after Turkey purchased Russian missile defenses.

Washington, which also put sanctions in December against Turkey’s defence sector, stated that it has not made any financing offers to NATO allies.

Erdogan said to reporters, “We will get that $1.4 billion of yours one way or other,” Anadolu quoted Erdogan saying. Erdogan also added that the Turkish-American defence ministers would talk about the topic.

“I am confident that we can make significant progress. This will be discussed with the (U.S. President), Biden, at the G20 meeting.

Reuters earlier reported that Turkey requested to purchase 40 Lockheed Martin F-16 fighter planes as well as nearly 80 modernization kit for its warplanes.

When Tanju Bilgic, a Turkish Foreign Ministry spokesperson was asked about talks regarding the topic. He said that Turkey had discussed the possibility of using F-35 payments to help finance Ankara’s F-16 purchases.

The options are clear: We can either go back to (F-35) and get the planes. Or they will reimburse our money. Bilgic stated that the F-35s were being used to modernize the F-16s in this context.

Washington’s decades-old alliance with Ankara has been severely strained over the last five-years due to differences on Syria policy, Turkey’s Russian S-400 missile-defense purchase and tensions in East Mediterranean.

Ankara said that it was hoping for stronger ties under the U.S. government, however talks between Erdogan and Biden are still ineffective.

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Mike Robinson
Mike covers the financial, utilities and biotechnology sectors for Street Register. He has been writing about investment and personal finance topics for almost 12 years. Mike has an MBA in Finance from Wake Forest University.