In response to US President Joe Biden’s insistence that Sweden’s NATO membership be approved as a condition for the potential sale of US F-16 fighter jets to Turkey, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said on Sunday that the decision on Sweden belonged to the Turkish parliament and that it was not for him to decide.
Following the conclusion of the G20 leaders’ summit in India, Erdoğan addressed the media in New Delhi. He said that he had a “pull-aside” meeting with Biden.
“F-16s have become a topic of concern, and, unfortunately, they are bringing up Sweden,” Erdoğan said during the press conference, highlighting his unease with the situation. “My response is clear: you keep talking about Congress; well, I have a parliament too. Until the Grand National Assembly of Turkey (TBMM) makes a decision, I can’t say anything. I am not in a position to make a unilateral decision.”
The Turkish president said that it was incorrect to link Ankara’s request for F-16 aircraft with Sweden’s NATO membership bid, emphasizing that this “seriously upsets” Ankara.
Addressing renewed discussions about Turkey’s relations with the European Union (EU) following the recent elections, Erdoğan stated that EU countries have been delaying Turkey for 50 years. Despite the ongoing hurdles, he asserted Turkey’s commitment to moving forward independently.