Once again, Turkey is trying to blackmail America into boosting its military position. This time she wants the United States to sell Turkey state-of-the-art F-16 fighter jets to upgrade its aging aircraft fleet.
This is a game that has been played many times in the past. “Give us what we want,” they say, “or we will go to the Soviet Union” – now Russia.
Let me clarify from the start that if the Biden government satisfies Turkey’s request, then it will be aimed directly against the national interests of Greece, which is increasingly being threatened by Ankara.
You will ask me, “is it possible, after all that has happened in recent years, for America to fall into such a trap again?”
The short answer is, yes, it can happen again. That’s why we have to mobilize.
Here’s why it can happen: The threat of a Russian invasion of Ukraine, which seems to be becoming more and more probable every day, increases the geostrategic importance of Turkey.
However, the weight of Turkey relative to Greece is not the same as it used to be, when short-sighted political reasons brought Greece into conflict with America and prevented the use of American bases in Greece.
At present, the United States has a number of valuable military installations in Greece, from Souda to Alexandroupolis, which increase the value of its own geostrategic position and reduce, correspondingly, that of Turkey’s.
So, will America want to even slightly disturb the atmosphere of very good relations between the two countries by selling F-16s to Turkey?
Another cause for concern is the recent improvement in Turkey’s relations with Israel.
I ask again: Is it possible for the Israelis to erase from their memory, not only Erdogan’s insults but general Turkish strategy towards them in recent years? Will they come to an understanding and ask the Israel Lobby in the United States to act along those lines?
And if this happens, will Israel not complicate the excellent relationship that they have developed with Greece in recent years?
The Turks are asking to buy the F-16s because America expelled them from the F-35 program after Ankara purchased Russian S-400 missiles – because they were playing games to the detriment of the security of America and the West.
They now claim that the sale of the F-16s is a ‘lifeline’ for the restoration of relations between the two countries and add that if the sale is prevented then they will be ‘throwing Turkey into the arms of Russia.’
How many times can they play this game? How many times will they blackmail us?
Unfortunately, judging by a statement from the State Department, the Biden government is leaning towards the sale of warplanes: “The United States and Turkey have long standing and deep bilateral defense ties, and Turkey’s continued NATO interoperability remains a priority.”
If that is the situation, then Biden will have ‘sold’ us out – shamelessly…