Turkish Speaker Doubts US Will Remove Ankara from F-35 Jet Program
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Turkish Speaker Doubts US Will Remove Ankara from F-35 Jet Program

“Turkey being kicked on the sidelines and saying we are not providing F35 is scandalous as far as the international trade… is concerned. I don’t think at the end of the day something like that will be happening”, he said in remarks published by Sputnik. Sentop pointed out that the United States could not legally remove Turkey from the F-35 training program because it helped build and paid for the aircraft. “F35 project has partners and Turkey is one of those partners. Therefore, the US doesn’t own that project 100%, it is not [as] if they are selling something [that is] 100% their own”, he noted. He speculated that the United States had a hidden political agenda when it came to the S-400 dispute. He said Greece and Bulgaria had an earlier version of S-400 missiles but NATO did not seem to have an issue with them. The United States claims that S-400 systems are not compatible with NATO defenses and may compromise the F-35 stealthy jet project. Washington said in June it would not accept more Turkish pilots for F-35 training unless it abandoned the agreement with Russia. Meanwhile, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan reiterated on 29 June during a briefing at the G20 Summit in Osaka, Japan, that Ankara will not step back on the S-400 deal with Russia. He also stressed that his country had paid for F-35 fighters and expects them to be delivered.

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