The Turkish government will not buy F-16 fighter jets from the US if restrictions are imposed on their use, the country's Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu said today.
In July the US House of Representatives proposed allowing President Joe Biden to sell Turkey upgraded F-16 jets on the condition that Ankara does not deploy them for unauthorised flights over Greece.
"Technical talks are going very well, but we would not agree to buy a product in a way that ties our hands," Cavusoglu said in an interview with Haber Global TV.
"Why should we buy a product that we cannot use? We expect the US government to continue working to convince Congress of the sale," he added.
Special Statements from Minister Çavuşoğlu to Haber Global
As Bloomberg recalls, Turkey focused on the F-16 purchase to upgrade its aging fleet of US fighter jets after being excluded from the program to build and purchase the next-generation F-35 fighter.
The move came in response to Turkey's purchase of a Russian S-400 missile defense system, which Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said was urgently needed for his country's defense.
Erdogan accused Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis in May of lobbying Congress to block the sale of F-16s to Turkey.