How Turkey Will Retaliate Against Congress’ F-35 Ban #TurkeyUS
Turkey’s American friends are playing with fire.
But this is hardly surprising. Populist leaders often bring misfortune to their nations when they, for the sake of populism, challenge major powers – (populist) Donald Trump v. (major power) Turkey, in this case.
At the beginning of May Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu diplomatically warned Washington against a planned U.S. arms embargo on Turkey, including the delivery of the new generation stealth fighter, the F-35. Retaliation, Mr Çavuşoğlu said.
The Americans misinterpreted that message. Last week the U.S. Congress passed a defense policy bill that prevents the sale of the F-35 aircraft to NATO ally Turkey. Turkey, a partner of the U.S.-led Joint Strike Fighter consortium that builds the F-35, has ordered more than 100 aircraft.
“Such steps are breach of the spirit of our alliance with the U.S. As our minister stated, if such steps are taken, we will have no other choice but to respond accordingly,” Turkish Foreign Ministry Spokesman Hami Aksoy repeated the Turkish threat of reprisals.
But how would Turkey retaliate against such a humiliating U.S. ban on the F-35 deliveries. There are plenty of retaliatory means a world power like Turkey could opt for, ranging from “punishing” to “extremely punishing,” depending on how merciful Turkey would decide to act.
A counter arms embargo could be a nice starter. For instance, Turkey should not deliver the TF-X, the country’s first indigenous, 100 percent Turkish fighter jet in the making, to America, and cripple the firepower of the U.S. Air Force. There is no such an aircraft yet, but, never mind, there one day will be, although the 100 percent Turkish fighter is being designed by British Aerospace and will possibly be powered by a Rolls-Royce engine.
Turkey should also stop selling attack and utility helicopters, nuclear submarines, unarmed and armed drones, smart ammunition, aircraft carriers, military software and critical aerospace parts to America. That would expose the U.S. military to the risk of operational idleness.
In addition to closing down Incirlik air base Turkey should also stop allowing America to use its strategic air and naval bases in Far East and Asia, Indian Ocean and the Pacific region.
Passing a bill recognising the Native Indian Genocide would also add to America’s international isolation. Applying its successful ‘street name diplomacy’ Turkey should rename the street where the U.S. embassy is located to “Filistin Caddesi,” after also renaming the existing “Filistin Caddesi” in Gaziosmanpasa to “Hamas Caddesi.”
Once punishing America by punishing sanctions Turkey could also consider a move to retaliate against Mr Trump’s decision to relocate the U.S. embassy in Israel to Jerusalem just by moving the Turkish embassy in Washington to Moscow.