Greek-Turkish Relations
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Erdogan's two actions for the acquisition of the F-16 BLOCK-70 are passing the parcel to Biden

Erdoğan does not stop his successive "ass-kickings", with the ultimate goal of buying 40 F-16 BLOCK-70 and 80 modernization kits for the same number of existing fighters of his Air Force from the US.

Thus, after re-engaging with Greece and signing a "Declaration of Friendship and Good Neighborliness" on December 7, the Turkish President yesterday "passed" the acceptance of Sweden's NATO membership by the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Turkish Parliament yesterday, referring the latter, this to be voted on by the plenary of the Turkish Parliament at a later time and cancelling the maiden flight of the Turkish 5th generation KAAN fighter today.

Turkish parliament's foreign affairs committee in favour of Sweden's NATO membership

"The Foreign Affairs Committee of the Turkish Grand National Assembly met under the chairmanship of AKP MP Fuat Oktay," Turkish media reported, noting:

"Oktay, who made a statement at the beginning of the meeting, said the steps and commitments made so far by the Swedish authorities are satisfactory.

Oktay said, "It is positive to block the financial resources of the terrorist organization called the Kurdish Red Crescent and stop its activities. It goes without saying that the contacts in Ankara of the prosecutor appointed by Sweden to cooperate with our authorities was also a positive and useful step."

Discussions then began on the legislative proposals concerning the adoption of international agreements on the agenda.

Deputy Foreign Minister Burak Akçapar briefed the members of the Committee on the legislative proposals.

Providing information on Sweden's proposal for NATO membership and the current process, Akçapar said that there is significant progress on the steps Sweden needs to take regarding its commitments to Turkey and that he believes that these advances will continue after NATO membership.

Akçapar said: "This is a process that requires long-term and consistent efforts, however we see today that legislative changes have been implemented by Sweden that no one could have imagined 5-6 years ago," adding:

Sweden's "positive" steps

"The Swedish government and the public not only better understood the legitimate security concerns of our country, but also began to realize the threat that terrorist organizations, especially the PKK, pose to Sweden," Akçapar said :

Stating that Sweden has become more aware of the PKK's financing and organized crime activities and its expansions, Akçapar said:

"The bank account of the so-called "Kurdish Red Crescent", one of the main sources of funding for the PKK in Sweden, was closed and their attempts to open an account in another bank were not successful.

It appeared that no bank would accept to open an account with them. So much so that this organisation announced its decision to end its activities in Sweden last week. A member of the PKK was convicted of terrorism financing and money laundering crimes on July 6, 2023, for the first time, while a member of the PKK terrorist organization, for whom there was a search warrant, was extradited from Sweden to Turkey.

Finally, Sweden has lifted the embargo on defence industry products to Turkey after applications submitted by Turkish companies were positively concluded after the process was initiated.

Following this, the recommendation of the Turkish parliament's foreign affairs committee was positive for Sweden's NATO membership, referring the matter to the plenary session of the parliament for a vote, with no time set for this, with many seeing 16 January 2024 as the most likely date.

Postponement of the maiden flight of the Turkish 5th generation KAAN fighter aircraft


According to a Turkish media, highly reputable in defence industry matters, "the first flight of the National Combat Aircraft (MMU) KAAN, the largest project carried out by the Turkish Aerospace Industry (TUSAŞ), which was scheduled to take place on December 27, has been postponed.

According to the information received, after the completion of ground and taxi tests, KAAN is expected to make its first flight within a few weeks.

The schedule of the KAAN programme

Under Phase-1, the pre-design activities of KAAN were carried out between 2018-2022.

As part of the completion of Phase-1 and Phase-2, detailed design and certification activities of the MMU KAAN will be carried out between 2022-2029.

Towards this end, the KAAN was "taken out of the hangar" in 2023.

The goal is to produce 3 prototypes by 2026.

It is known that the assembly activities of the 2nd and 3rd prototype are currently ongoing at TAI's facilities.

The Block-10 configuration, which will be delivered to Air Force Command, is targeted to be deployed by 2029.


10 KAAN Block-1 fighter aircraft to be built under Phase-2 will be delivered to the Turkish Air Force between 2030 and 2033.

However, this date announced by the Turkish Air Force was revised by TAI to 2028.

Under Phase-3 between 2034-2040, development and mass production activities of other KAAN parts will be carried out.

This date was revised by TAI to 2030."

 Erdogan's moves are well thought out

From the above, we can see how well thought out Erdogan's moves are in the effort to acquire the F-16 BLOCK-70 from the US and I explain.

It is known that Erdogan and Biden during their recent telephone conversation of about an hour or so, reportedly according to the Turkish President, agreed to simultaneous "passage" by the Turkish Parliament of Sweden's NATO membership with US Congressional approval of the sale of 40 F-16 BLOCK-70s to Turkey.

The positive recommendation of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Turkish Parliament for Sweden's NATO membership, with Erdogan's "stamp of approval", is in this direction.

The postponement of the maiden flight of the 5th generation fighter, scheduled for today by Erdogan for "technical reasons", again serves the effort to acquire the F-16 BLOCK-70 from the US.

The reason is that there will not be the expected fiesta that would have accompanied the first flight of the KAAN and there will be no rave reviews in the Turkish media, many of them directed against the US, raising tensions with the US and hampering the effort to buy the F-16s from Biden, from whom Erdogan now expects to either convince Congress to sell them to Turkey or bypass it.

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