Turkey: If we don’t get F-16s, France, UK or Russia will sell us
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has again threatened to turn to Russia if the US does not sell the F-16 Block 70/72 fighter jets that Turkey wants. Erdogan made the “threat” through an interview in a Turkish newspaper.
“The United States is not alone in selling fighter jets. The United Kingdom, France, and Russia are also selling them. It is possible to get it elsewhere and some are already sending us signals,” Erdogan said.
The statement comes amid falling confidence ratings for Erdogan’s ruling AKP party. The next parliamentary elections in Turkey are just a few months away. French analysts from opex360 suggest that the August meeting in Washington between the Turkish delegation and the US government apparently did not go as well as expected. A few days later, Erdogan sent a clear signal to the US by signing an agreement with Russia. This agreement concerns economic and energy cooperation between the two countries.
Erdogan did not stop there. While touring the Balkans, the Turkish president criticized Europe several times. “The attitude of the Europeans towards Vladimir Putin and the sanctions have made them, whether we like it or not, say: ‘If you do this, I will do this.’ Erdogan made this statement about Moscow’s decision to cut off gas to Europe. Erdogan later accused Western countries of pursuing a “provocative policy” toward Russia, before praising Ankara’s “policy of balance” between Kyiv and Moscow.
What aircrfat can Turkey buy?
Citing France, Great Britain, and Russia as possible suppliers of fighter jets, Erdogan was mainly referring to three fighter jets.
France’s Dassault Rafale is unlikely to be sold to Turkey. Against the background of the good relations between France and Greece, it is logical that Erdogan will be refused by Macron. There is a possibility that the UK will agree to a possible sale of the Eurofighter Typhoon. Above all, such a sale will help the British develop their TF-X next-generation fighter project. But the US will have a say in this sale, amid of Washington – London relations.
The most realistic possibility is Russia. Erdogan has shown that he will not compromise with his partners when it comes to national security [the S-400 purchase]. Last year there were reports that Turkey and Russia signed an agreement for the purchase of 36 Su-35 Flanker-E fighter jets. So far, this agreement has not been confirmed.
Turkey is making its fifth-generation fighter as well. An agreement for the purchase of Su-57s will not only provide Turkey with aircraft, but Moscow is also ready to cooperate with Ankara in the transfer of stealth technology.
BulgarianMilitary.com recalls that last year Erdogan even said that he was open to possible cooperation regarding the Su-35 or even the Su-57, the alleged fifth-generation Russian aircraft.