Pappas Leads Bipartisan Opposition to Biden Administration Proposal to Sell Weapons to Turkey

Friday, May 13, 2022

Contact: Collin Gately

Pappas Leads Bipartisan Opposition to Biden Administration Proposal to Sell Weapons to Turkey

Ahead of Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis’s visit to Washington next week, Pappas joined by Hellenic Caucus co-chairs in opposition to the sale of advanced weapons and equipment to upgrade Turkey’s F-16 fleet

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Congressman Chris Pappas (NH-01), alongside Hellenic Caucus Co-Chairs Congressman Gus Bilirakis (FL-12) and Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney (NY-12), announced their opposition to the Biden administration’s proposal to sell advanced weapons and equipment to Turkey in light of its continued violation of U.S. law and its increasingly belligerent rhetoric and behavior towards Greece, America’s reliable, democratic NATO ally.

As the Wall Street Journal reported this week, the Biden administration has asked congressional leaders to approve the sale of advanced weapons and other equipment for Turkey’s fleet of F-16 jet fighters. 

“I strongly oppose the Biden Administration’s proposed sale of advanced weapons and equipment to upgrade Turkey’s F-16 fleet. Turkey has failed to address the issues that led to its ejection from the F-35 program and the imposition of CAATSA sanctions,” said Congressman Pappas. “Turkey’s increasingly belligerent rhetoric and behavior towards Greece, a reliable democratic NATO ally, also cannot be ignored. Turkish F-16s have flown over Greek islands and violated its airspace hundreds of times in recent weeks, and Turkey has launched a baseless campaign disputing Greece’s sovereignty over its eastern Aegean islands. We cannot allow the Erdogan government to escape accountability for violating U.S. law and the standards of the NATO alliance. Actions speak louder than words, and without any meaningful change on Turkey’s part I will continue working to prevent F-16s or any other American-made weapons from falling into Erdogan’s hands.”

“Like many of my colleagues, I remain vehemently opposed to any sale,” said Congressman Bilirakis. “Unfortunately, Turkey has not changed its behavior when it comes to the S-400s and CAATSA, which is the underlying reason Turkey was dropped from the F-35 program.  I am confident that Turkey’s failure to change its behavior will prevent congressional approval of this sale.” 

“As Co-Chair of the Hellenic Caucus, I am deeply troubled by reports that Turkey may receive advanced and sensitive missile and radar capabilities, F-16 modernization kits and additional F16s,” said Congresswoman Maloney. “While Erdogan has recently increased his endorsements of international law and respect for sovereignty in his statements on Ukraine, he conveniently ignores Turkey’s continuous violations of both Cyprus’ and Greece’s sovereignty – including 40,000 Turkish troops still illegally occupying parts of the Republic of Cyprus. I made it clear last November in our letter on this issue: Turkey’s purchase and use of Russian S-400 missile systems in defiance of NATO standards and U.S. law, decades-long violations of the Republic of Cyprus’ sovereignty, and continuing destabilizing behavior in the Eastern Mediterranean and West Asia should disqualify them from receiving these systems.”

In November 2021, Pappas, Bilirakis, and Maloney led 41 House members in a letter to Secretary of State Antony Blinken opposing US plans to sell Turkey F-16s and demanding information from the State Department following recent reports of a request from Turkey to purchase 40 F-16 fighter jets and dozens of modernization kits for its existing warplanes from the United States.