American Hellenic Institute Welcomes Efforts to Block Sale of F-35s to Turkey

May 31, 2018

WASHINGTON, DC – The American Hellenic Institute (AHI) welcomes congressional action underway in a response to Turkey’s behavior, which has not met the principles and standards of a NATO member nation.

“As we have stated all along, Turkey does not share NATO’s core purpose or best interests,” AHI President Nick Larigakis said. “It is unbecoming of a NATO member to act in the aggressive and provocative manner as it has toward fellow Alliance-member countries. It is time to hold Turkey accountable, and we are encouraged Congress is taking measures to do so.”

The National Defense Authorization Act of 2019 (NDAA) is legislation Congress passes each year that sets policy and funding levels for the Department of Defense. This year, the legislation in the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate each contains provisions that aim at Turkey’s participation in the F-35 program.

“We thank Senators Thom Tillis and Jeanne Shaheen, who are members of the Senate Armed Services Committee, for their initiative and hard work to secure their amendment that targets Turkey’s participation in the F-35 program,” Larigakis said. “We also thank the House Armed Services Committee for drafting and advancing a bill with a strong provision that passed the U.S. House of Representatives.”


The U.S. House of Representatives passed its version of the NDAA on May 24. The House’s version contains a provision that requires the Secretary of Defense, in consultation with the Secretary of State, to submit a report on the status of the United States relationship with Turkey within 60 days of the bill’s enactment. Included in this report is an assessment of the potential purchase of the S-400 missile system from Russia and its impact on U.S. weapon systems such as the F-35s and F-16s, among other weapons systems.

All U.S. weapons sales to Turkey are suspended until the Secretary of Defense submits the required report to Congress.


The Senate’s version of the NDAA advanced out of the Senate Armed Services Committee on May 24, 2018. The Senate still must pass the bill.

The Senate’s bill, in its current form, has two provisions specific to the transfer of F-35s to Turkey, according to a news report.

A provision that “directs the Secretary of Defense to submit a plan to Congress to remove the Government of Turkey from participation in the F-35 program,” according to a statement issued by U.S. Senator Thom Tillis (R-NC), who co-sponsored the provision with U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH). Senator Tillis’ statement adds, “The Tillis-Shaheen provision…is a direct response to the Turkish government’s wrongful imprisonment of Pastor Andrew Brunson, and Turkey’s troubling intention to purchase the S-400 system from Russia. The provision explicitly states that Congress finds that the Turkish government is unlawfully and wrongfully detaining Andrew Brunson and is denying him due process rights consistent with international norms.”

A separate provision would also require the Pentagon to produce a report on Turkey’s place in the F-35 supply chain.

The senate’s bill also “expresses the sense of the Senate that if Turkey purchases the S-400 air defense system from Russia, the President should impose sanctions against Turkey under the Countering America’s Adversaries through Sanctions Act,” according to a Senate Armed Services Committee statement.

“Turkey’s aggression in the Aegean Sea, which results in almost daily violations of Greece’s sovereignty and recklessly places lives in harm’s way; and Turkey’s gunboat diplomacy in the exclusive economic zone of Cyprus, all must be included in this policy discussion,” Larigakis said. “Greece and Cyprus, along with Israel, provide peace and stability in the region. Turkey is the instigator of instability and is not a reliable ally of the United States.”


The full Senate must act on the bill. If it passes the Senate, it goes to Conference Committee, where differences with the House’s version will have to be reconciled. Once reconciled, the bill goes back to each chamber for a vote. If passed, it will go to President Donald Trump to be signed into law.


LONDON - Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis had a meeting with Greeks of the diaspora while in London on Wednesday, during which he highlighted the options that Greeks living abroad now have to vote in Greek elections from their place of residence, as well as his government's emphasis on reforms.

Top Stories


BOSTON – The Holy Synod of the Patriarchate of Alexandria in its recent meeting dealt with the ecclesiastical coup perpetrated by the Patriarchate of Moscow in its canonical jurisdiction, calling it an “immoral invasion and intrusion.


NEW YORK - Some 21 years after it was destroyed in the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks in the United States that brought down the Twin Towers in New York City, the new St Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church rising in its place is among the most eagerly awaited architectural openings of 2022.


STATEN ISLAND, NY – For yet another year, the community of Holy Trinity-St Nicholas in Staten Island honored couples celebrating 50+ years of marriage with a modest ceremony held at the church immediately following the Divine Liturgy on January 16.


Greece: Heavy Snowfall is Expected on Monday, Schools to Remain Closed in Attica (Vid)

ATHENS - Schools of all levels of education will remain closed throughout Attica on Monday and Tuesday, January 24-25, due to extreme weather conditions.

Enter your email address to subscribe

Provide your email address to subscribe. For e.g. abc@xyz.com

You may unsubscribe at any time using the link in our newsletter.