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Turkey's Bid for U.S. F-16 Deal Comes As They Oppose New NATO Members

Washington, D.C. - A new report published today by the Program on Peace-building & Human Rights at Columbia University's Institute for the Study of Human Rights, in partnership with the Turkish Democracy Project, exposes Turkey's duplicity in political maneuverings, unworthy of being sold a new round of deadly F-16s, reported the Armenian Assembly of America (Assembly).

The Columbia University report states, "Erdoğanism is a form of populist authoritarianism and political ideology based on the cult of personality. Corrupt at its core, it is chauvinistic, nationalistic and discriminatory towards ethnic and religious minorities. Many Russian civil society activists who relocated to Turkey found that Turkey is a gulag of a different sort...Turkey is at a fork in the road. Down one path lies reform and a truly democratic Turkey that respects minority and human rights. Down the other lies greater kleptocracy and human rights abuses."

"The U.S. and NATO are supposed to support democracies, not arm those killing democracy, so we are fundamentally opposed to the U.S. providing weapons to Turkey, especially given reports that F-16 fighter jets have been used against the Armenian people in the Fall 2020 War on Artsakh," said Assembly Co-Chairs Van Krikorian and Anthony Barsamian. "At a minimum, the U.S. should ensure that Turkey ends its aggression against the Armenian people, instead of enabling the Erdoğan and Aliyev regimes to continue on genocidal courses," the Co-Chairs continued.

Columbia University’s Institute for the Study of Human Rights and the Turkish Democracy Project's report provides information on "efforts by Russian oligarchs to protect their assets by harboring their superyachts in Turkey, buying high-end Turkish real estate, and setting up bank accounts in Turkey to shield their assets from foreclosure."

David L. Phillips, Director of the Program on Peace-building & Human Rights at Columbia University, stated that Turkey's cooperation with Russia "must not be rewarded by allowing its purchase of 70 F-16 fighter jets and modernization kits from Lockheed Martin." He continued that "the Biden administration should be more astute differentiating friend from foe."

This report was issued concomitantly with Turkey publicly stating its opposition to Finland and Sweden's accession to NATO, and a delegation of Erdoğan allies traveling to Washington.

Established in 1972, the Armenian Assembly of America is the largest Washington-based nationwide organization promoting public understanding and awareness of Armenian issues. The Assembly is a non-partisan, 501(c)(3) tax-exempt membership organization.


NR# 2022-19

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