Greek-Turkish Relations
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Turkey's Four (4) Point Strategy in the US F-35 Acquisition Trap - Erdogan-Putin Collusion

It is a fact that recently there has been a great deal of activity regarding the acquisition of American fighter jets from Greece and Turkey.

Recently, the US through the mouth of Deputy Secretary of State Victoria Nuland, officially stated that it is willing to readmit Turkey to the F-35 program, if Ankara "addresses" Washington's reservations about the S-400 air defense system it acquired from Russia .

Nuland famously visited Turkey after approving Sweden's admission to NATO, while Washington approved the sale of 40 F-16 BLOCK 70 fighters to Turkey and 40 fifth-generation F-35 fighters to Greece.

As we understand, the issue is extremely serious for Greece, since the decision to acquire the F-35s from the Turks and the removal of the S-400s or the opposite will largely shape American-Turkish and Russian-Turkish relations, affecting aviation balance in the Aegean.


We, in a related article, expressed our assessment that the Turks are more inclined to acquire 40 Eurofighter together with the 40 F-16 BLOCK 70 of the USA and continue the program of their domestic 5th generation KAAN fighter, rather than buying American F-35.

Regarding the issue of the S-400, our opinion was that Turkey is not going to send the S-400 to Ukraine since this would be unforgivable by Putin.

Turkey likely to keep S-400s and not accept US F-35 offer


The issue was dealt with by a very reputable international media, which in a related article points out that "Turkey will probably keep the Russian-made S-400 surface-to-air missiles (SAM) and will not accept the US proposal to be admitted to the fighter program stealth F-35". citing:

"Foreign Minister Hakan Fidan on February 4 signaled a preference for the S-400, which Deputy Secretary of State Victoria Nuland revealed in an interview last week.

Turkey was kicked out of the F-35 program in 2019-2020 to acquire the S-400, as the SAM platform was incompatible with NATO systems, including the F-35. The US then imposed sanctions on Turkey's defense industry under the Countering America's Adversaries Through Act (CAATSA).

Turkey was making about 900 components for the F-35, including the main fuselage and cockpit display, and had paid a $1.4 billion advance for the project, and is now seeking compensation for its financial losses.

Did the USA "play" in the Turkey-Greece rivalry?

A EurAsian Times report analyzed how the US may have played into the Turkey-Greece rivalry in the Mediterranean by successively approving arms sales to both countries.

In order for the US to respond to Turkey's long-standing need to modernize its air force, it first ensured that the Turkish parliament ratified Sweden's NATO membership.

The US then retaliated by approving the sale of F-16 Block 70 variants and modernization kits to Ankara for its existing F-16 fleet, shortly after announcing the sale of F-35s to its “rival” Greece.

Knowing that the military balance in the Mediterranean would tilt towards Greece, the US expected that Turkey would need to acquire a similar air platform, while simply having the S-400s would not be enough.

Turkey's only option would be to have its own F-35 fleet.

Hoping the Turks would make that calculation, Nuland reopened the doors to Turkey on the F-35 in an interview with CNN Turk.

Turkey's Four (4) Point Strategy

Interestingly, Turkey appears to be eliminating the need to acquire the F-35 in response to Greece's future acquisition of the US fifth-generation stealth fighter, attempting to approach the issue through four "points".

First, Turkey does not accept the US offer of F-35s in exchange for rejecting the S-400s, which Washington wanted to transfer to Ukraine for use against Russian aircraft.

Second, Ankara is trying to stabilize ties with Greece and reduce the chances of conflict. According to Bloomberg, “neighbors Greece and Turkey are working to build friendly ties, but also closely monitor each other's military capabilities

Third, Turkey is exploring the acquisition of Eurofighter Typhoon – Generation 4++ aircraft, which are highly advanced, just one tier below the F-35.

A combination of the S-400s, the self-modernized F-16 fleet, the new F-16 Block 70s and the Eurofighter Typhoon (if a deal is reached), would assure Turkey that Greece will not overtake it technologically.

This in case her efforts to reduce tension with Athens fail and war is imminent.

Finally, Ankara continues its trend of major strides in its domestic defense industrial base with its own fifth-generation stealth fighter, the KAAN, which is expected to enter mass production in the 2030s.

Turkey has also emerged as a major drone power with the development of unmanned aerial combat vehicles (UCAVs) such as the Bayraktar TB-2, TB-3, Anka, Anka-3, the Kizilelma UCAV and a wide variety of kamikaze drones, ballistic missiles air-to-air, air-to-ground and ground-to-ground.

These are developed by domestic Turkish defense companies such as Baykar, Aselsan, Roketsan and Tubitak-Sage. For example, the underdeveloped Siper SAM platform has been touted as a weapon comparable to the S-400. Aselsan CEO Haluk Gorgun had argued that Turkey "would no longer need" the S-400s after Siper became operational.

Russian-Turkish relations – The “X” factor.

However, this also does not mean that the deployment of KAAN or Siper automatically guarantees that Turkey will transfer the S-400s to Ukraine, as this would jeopardize its relations with Moscow.

The EurAsian Times previously noted how Moscow wielded significant financial leverage that could significantly damage the Turkish economy, curbing the flow of Russian tourists to the popular Antalya region, reducing fruit imports from Turkey and creating issues in the construction of the political nuclear Akkuyu station from Rosatom.

Turkey and Russia are on opposite sides in the conflicts in the South Caucasus (Armenia-Azerbaijan), the civil war in Syria and Libya, and in Ukraine.

At the same time, however, the two countries entered into formal agreements such as the Quadripartite Black Sea Initiative with Russia, Ukraine, the United Nations (UN) and Turkey."

Erdogan-Putin alliance

From the above, we conclude that Turkey will probably not return to the F-35 program, since this will mean total dependence of the Turkish Air Force on the US, with major implications for the foreign policy of the neighbors in relation to Washington's wishes.

Erdogan has a way out in acquiring F-35 fighters from Greece, with a combination of S-400s, the self-modernized F-16 fleet, the new F-16 Block-70s and the Eurofighter Typhoon he is moving to acquire.

In any case, Erdogan is not going to send the S-400 to Ukraine, since this would be unforgivable by Putin, with whom the Turkish President colludes and agrees despite any disagreements they have in the South Caucasus (Armenia-Azerbaijan), in Syria, Libya and Ukraine.

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