May 18 2018

Turkey faces two sanctions threats from US

Proposals to prevent the United States from selling Turkey weaponry have been made in both houses of Congress, putting a large order of fighter jets and bilateral relations more generally into jeopardy.

The United States House Committee on Armed Services approved a draft bill containing a clause that would stop the sale of arms to Turkey until the U.S. defence secretary provided Congress with a report on the United States’ relationship with Turkey.

The bill, on the topic of the U.S. defence budget for 2019, was approved by 60 votes to 1, and will be debated in both houses.

Another bill, proposed in the U.S. House of Representatives, is calling specifically for Turkey’s order of over 100 F-35 fighter jets and technology transfer to the country to be cancelled.

"The Ban F-35 Joint Strike Fighter Sales to Turkey Act prohibits the sale or transfer of F-35 aircraft and any related intellectual property or technical data to Turkey," a press release by David Cicilline, who is proposing the measure, said.

"We cannot turn a blind eye to Turkey’s thuggish, reprehensible behavior… It’s important that we hold NATO members to the same standard we would hold any other country."

Cicilline, whose Rhode Island constituency is home to thousands of Armenian-Americans, received a Gratitude Medal from the country in March this year.