“We are friends with Greece for many decades. We have never been fighting camps against one another,” Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said in an interview with US Public Broadcasting Service (PBS)
Ankara will not be swayed by pressure from US Congress or any of its officials via the matter of the F-16 sale, Erdogan indicated on Monday during an interview on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly in New York.
Asked in the interview with the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) to comment on US reservations about the sale, and specifically on the opposition towards the deal expressed by the influential chair of the US Senate’s Foreign Affairs Committee, Erdogan said that it “seems [Bob] Menendez has taken a hostile approach to Turkey.”
“He’s trying to pull us toward certain discussions of his choosing,” Erdogan, speaking via an interpreter, added, without clarifying what those discussions may be.
“We are not going to be part of this,” Erdogan said, adding that Menendez “is not very familiar with Turkey” and “doesn’t seem to be familiar with Tayyip Erdogan either.”
Responding to PBS journalist Amna Nawaz’s comment that some of the reservations against the sale concern the fact that the US-made fighter jets could be used against fellow NATO ally Greece, Erdogan said “our friendship with Greece is not what they make it out to be.”
“We are friends with Greece for many decades. We have never been fighting camps against one another,” said Erdogan, who is due to meet on Wednesday with Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis to discuss the possibility of resuming talks between the two countries.