According to reports on Reuters, the United States government is going to impose sanctions on Turkey and remove the country from its F-35 fighter jet program if the letter goes ahead with its previous plans to purchase Russia’s air defense system. During the G-20 summit, the President of Turkey, Tayyip Erdogan, said that his country will not need to endure damaging sanctions from the United States as soon as the S-400 air defense system, which is powered by Russia, reaches Turkey.
Turkey May Face Damaging Sanctions From The United States
While Trump didn’t admit to imposing sanctions on Turkey to reporters, one of the White House officials said that the sanctions will most likely be imposed and the country will be pulled out of the F-35 fighter jet program as long as it takes the air defense system from Russia.
A spokesperson of American Air Force, Lieutenant Colonel Mike, said that the position of the United States regarding this issue has not changed. In his words;
“Nothing has changed. Turkey cannot have the S-400 air defense system and remain in the F-35 program. They can’t have both.”
While the White House is clear on its stance regarding the sanctions, there are some who believe that Trump’s rapport with Erdogan may be a basis for him to wave the sanctions or postpone Turkey’s removal from the F-35 fighter jet program. If this happens, the relationship between Trump and Erdogan will be strengthened but Trump will lose some of his closest supporters in Congress.
If, on the other hand, the United States imposes these sanctions on Turkey and removes the country from the F-35 fighter jet program, this move will build a lot of friction between both countries and will be one of the most significant disagreements in the history of both nations.