Turkey has said it will be able to find a replacement for the American F-16 fighters if Washington refuses to sell the planes to Ankara. This was stated by Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar. The minister's statement is quoted by Milliyet newspaper.
Recall that this week a group of US senators from both political US parties demanded that Joe Biden postpone the sale of F-16 fighter jets to Turkey. The reason for this demand was Turkey's refusal to approve the application of Sweden and Finland to join NATO.
Turkey expects common sense to prevail in the US, but F-16s are not Ankara's only option
Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar said in an interview with Milliyet.
The Turkish minister did not voice alternative options for the acquisition of fighters, but some experts saw in Hulusi Akar's statement a clear hint at the acquisition of Russian aviation equipment.
The Milliyet newspaper recalls that Turkey decided to buy American F-16 fighters after the country was excluded from the American program for the production of fifth-generation F-35 fighter-bombers. This happened due to Ankara's purchase of Russian S-400 air defense systems.
Recall, Ankara refused to approve the application of the Scandinavian countries to join the North Atlantic Alliance after the provocation with the burning of the Koran, which was staged by the leader of the right-wing extremist Hard Course party Rasmus Paludan near the Turkish embassy in Stockholm. Later, a similar action took place at the consular department of the Russian Embassy in Denmark, located in Copenhagen.