Turkey to reciprocate if US stops sale of weapons

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu has stated that Turkey will strongly retaliate if the US passes any law that will put an end to the sale of weapons to the country. US House of Representatives had tabled a bill which involved a measure to temporarily stop the sale of weapons to Turkey. The Bill is known as the $717 billion annual defence policy bill.

Turkey has condemned the bill stating that it is not in sync with the NATO allies and that the measures were totally wrong and incorrect. It has clearly stated that any such move by the US will invoke equal retaliation from Turkey. The US National Defence Authorisation Act, as per its proposals will ask the Defence Department to furnish a report to the Congress on the US-Turkey relations and thereby block the sale of weapons until the report was complete.

Turkey is in process of purchasing Patriot missiles and is also considering buying of more than 100 Lockheed Martin’s F-35 Fighter jets. Turkey has also signed an agreement with Russia to purchase S-400 surface-to-air missile batteries to develop its defences in the wake of rising threats from Kurdish and Islamic militants both in Syria and Iraq. S-400s are not compatible with NATO Systems and thus has added to the discomfort of many NATO members who are already irked by the growing Russian footprint in the Middle-east. The Turkish minister slammed the US of trying to exercise control over Turkish decisions.

The bilateral relations between the two nations have been strained over the last few months due to many reasons especially US backing of the Kurdish rebels in Syria which Turkey considers to be an offshoot of the banned international outfit PKK. Latter has waged war on Turkey for over 30 years. Turkey had conducted Operation Olive Branch in Afrin, Syria to free the border territory from Kurdish control.

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