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How Turkey Will Retaliate Against Congress’ F-35 Ban #TurkeyUS

How Turkey Will Retaliate Against Congress’ F-35 Ban <a class="hashtagger" href="https://sigmaturkey.com/tag/turkeyus/">#TurkeyUS</a>

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.

About The Author

Burak Bekdil

Burak Bekdil is an Ankara-based Turkish political columnist who wrote for Hurriyet Daily News [formerly Turkish Daily News] for 29 years. He has covered Turkey for the U.S. weekly Defense News since 1997. Previously, Bekdil worked as Ankara Bureau Chief for Dow Jones Newswires and CNBC-e television. He contributes to annual national defense sector reviews for anti-corruption institutions like Transparency International and Global Integrity. Bekdil is a fellow at the Middle East Forum and regularly writes for the Gatestone Institute and Middle East Quarterly. He also contributes to Perspectives, a journal of the Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies, Bar-Ilan University, Tel Aviv. James Cuno, art historian and President of the J. Paul Getty Trust, describes Bekdil as "a frequent critic of Prime Minister [now president] Recep Tayyip Erdogan." In 2001, a Heavy Crimes Court in Ankara sentenced Bekdil to a suspended, 20-month prison sentence for his column in which he satirized corruption in the judiciary. Bekdil's comments, quotes and articles have been published in international media outlets including the Wall Street Journal, The Economist, BBC, The Guardian, Reuters, Associated Press, Bloomberg, Los Angeles Times, The Commentator, New York Times, Kathimerini, National Review Online, Algemeiner, NPR, Washington Times, Die Presse, Haaretz, The Jerusalem Post, Toronto Star, Financial Times, Al-Monitor, Le Figaro, ABC, El Pais, Stern, Al-Arabiya, Helsingin Sanomat, Racjonalista, Defence Greece, Moyen-Orient, Courier International, ISN Security Watch and Coloquio (of Congreso Judio Latinoamerico) and the Jewish Chronicle (London). (Born: Ankara, 1966; Undergraduate: Department of Economics, Middle East Technical University, Ankara; Post-graduate: Department of Economics, University of Surrey, United Kingdom)

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