U.S. lawmaker seeks to block F-35 sale to Turkey

A U.S. lawmaker is seeking to halt the sale of F-35 fighter jets to Turkey until its government cooperates with the investigation and prosecution of Turkish security officers who clashed with protesters in Washington DC last year, Ekathimerini reported.

David Cicilline, a Democrat representing Rhode Island, has requested an amendment to the 2018 National Defense Authorization Act that would block the sale of about 100 aircraft to Turkey.

The legislative amendment states that the transfer should not be completed until Turkey has been proved to be fully cooperating with the case, the newspaper reported.

The clashes outside the Turkish ambassador’s residence in Washington in May 2017, which took place during a visit by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, were characterized as a “brutal attack” on peaceful demonstrators by the city’s police. It was condemned by U.S. officials and has strained relations between the two NATO allies.

Numerous officials are calling on the administration to cancel, suspend or modify the F-35 order should Ankara go ahead and purchase S-400 missiles from Russia, as planned. The S-400 purchase could allow Russia to obtain data about the fighter jets through the air defence system, exposing its vulnerabilities.