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Türkiye does not ask to return F-35 program, but wants money back: Turkish FM

Türkiye Materials 8 May 2023 03:06 (UTC +04:00)
Türkiye does not ask to return F-35 program, but wants money back: Turkish FM

Türkiye does not ask the United States to allow Ankara to return to the F-35 fighter jet program but just wants reimbursement of its money already paid for the project, the Turkish foreign minister has said, Trend reports citing Hurriyet Daily News.

“We are not saying ‘Let’s go back to the F-35 [program] right now.’ We are saying ‘Give us our money back.’ Because we produce our own national combat aircraft,” Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavushoglu said in a televised interview

“We also want to improve relations with the U.S., and we have established the necessary mechanisms for this,” the minister said but noted that the tensions rise between Ankara and Washington due to the latter’s support for the YPG group in Syria and hosting the FETÖ leader Fetullah Gülen in the U.S.

The U.S. has made various offers regarding the delivery of the Russian S-400s missile defense systems in Türkiye to third parties, Cavushoglu also said.

“They made offers that directly concern our sovereignty, such as asking to give its control to them, or somewhere else. Where is our independence, our sovereignty?”

The minister said one of the proposals made to Türkiye was to send the S-400s to Ukraine. “They told us ‘Will you send to Ukraine?’ We said ‘no,’” he stated.

Türkiye was excluded from the joint F-35 fifth-generation fighter jet program due to its deployment of the Russian S-400 air defense system.

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