The Turkish president sees the judicial affairs of Senator Bob Menendez as a "green light" for the acquisition of US F-16 fighter jets. Predictably, he is attempting to speed up the proceedings by pressuring the US to agree.
Tayyip Erdogan spoke about Bob Menendez's legal adventures to Turkish journalists on his return from Azerbaijan. The Turkish president admitted that the developing situation is an opportunity for his country to "run" the F-16 issue with the US.
"One of our major problems regarding F-16s was the activities of US Senator Bob Menendez against our country. Therefore, our Foreign Minister Hakan Fidan is now closely monitoring this process. Three or four days ago, US Foreign Minister Anthony Blinken and Fidan met in America. These talks are still going on. But now, it would be beneficial to turn this situation into an opportunity and meet with him again," the Turkish president said initially.
"In this way, we may have the opportunity to speed up the process regarding the F-16s. Not only on the F-16, but on all other issues, Menendez and those with his mentality are obstructing our activities. Menendez's departure gives us an advantage, but the F-16 issue is not an issue that is solely up to Menendez. We are now waiting for a clear answer from the US on this issue. We hope that we will get the positive result we expect without too much delay. Even this issue shows us how important it is to be a self-sufficient country in terms of the defense industry," Erdogan added.
It is recalled, however, that the US senator has faced similar accusations in the past, having come out in the open. He is expected to be exonerated again, since the smear campaign against him is allegedly directed at specific agendas of certain lobbies.
His swift return to the chairmanship of the powerful Senate Foreign Relations Committee is crucial to maintaining stability in the region, and a voice in the US that expresses historical, legal and human truths cannot be absent from American politics.