WASHINGTON – This week, U.S. Representative Chris Pappas (D-NH-01) was one of the key voices supporting an amendment that would stop the Biden Administration’s efforts to sell new F-16s to Turkey as part of the 2023 National Defense Authorization Act.
Sponsored by U.S. Representative Frank Pallone Jr. (D-NJ-06), the amendment also prohibits exporting F-16s to the Turkish government as well as selling or exporting and technology or modernization kits to F-16 kits.
In the amendment, the only exception to the prohibition where the President provides a certification to Congress that such a transfer is in the national interest of the United States and includes a detailed description of concrete steps taken to ensure that such F-16s are not used by Turkey for repeated unauthorized territorial overflights of Greece.
The amendment follows previous similar actions by Pappas in opposition to providing F-16 technology to Turkey due to its possession of Russian S-400 missile systems in violation of U.S. law as well as belligerent rhetoric toward neighboring Greece.
Pappas, whose paternal great-grandfather emigrated from Greece, praised the reliability of the Greek government’s commitment to its relationship with the United States as well as his frustration with the government of Turkish President Recip Tayyip Erdoğan the support of U.S. President Joseph Biden to sell the F-16 technology to Turkey.
“The passage of this bipartisan amendment sends a strong message to Turkey and to the international community that the United States will not allow the Erdoğan government to escape accountability for violating U.S. law and the standards of the NATO alliance,” said Pappas. “I have consistently opposed the sale of F-16s to Turkey and advanced weapons and equipment to upgrade its existing F-16 fleet. It remains deeply troubling that President Biden supports moving forward with this sale despite Turkey’s increasingly belligerent rhetoric and aggression towards Greece, a reliable democratic NATO ally. Actions speak louder than words. I will continue working across the aisle to take all necessary actions to prevent F-16s or any other American-made weapons from falling into Erdoğan’s hands. I’m pleased that this amendment garnered strong, bipartisan support, and I want to thank my co-leads and fellow members of the Congressional Caucus on Hellenic Issues for moving this forward.”
“For far too long, the United States has allowed Erdoğan to dictate his terms and hide behind Turkey’s status as a NATO ally. He has done the bare minimum to bolster NATO’s strategic posture since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine triggered the largest crisis the alliance has faced in decades,” said Pallone. “The sale of American advanced fighter jets to Turkey will not incentivize Erdogan to suddenly transform into a good ally. More likely, these weapons will lead to further death and destruction in the region. He’s avoided facing real-life consequences greater than a slap on the wrist for his flagrant violations of international law at home and abroad, and it’s time we finally say enough is enough.”
The amendment passed 244-179 with 30 Democrats voting against the amendment and 60 Republicans voting for it.