The Republicans, for whom Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan had declared his support, were defeated in critical regions in the US midterm elections held last week.
Referring to Turkey’s efforts to complete the purchase of F-16 jets from the US, Erdoğan said on Saturday that if the Republicans claimed the critical few seats they needed in the Senate, the process of would be easier, and that there was “positive news” in this direction. That possibility was ruled out when the Democrats won in Nevada.
As the Democrats declared victory in many regions, the vote count was also completed in Nevada, a critical state for control of the Senate.
Control of the Senate was expected to pass to the Republicans if they won in Nevada. However the Democrats came out victorious and kept control of the Senate, the US-based news agency Associated Press reported.
US President Joe Biden said to Reuters that voter turnout reflected the quality of the candidates his party was fielding, after Senator Catherine Cortez Masto was projected to win re-election in Nevada.
President Joe Biden said voter turnout in the U.S. midterm elections reflected the quality of the candidates his party was fielding, after Senator Catherine Cortez Masto was projected to win Nevada re-election
— Reuters (@Reuters) November 13, 2022
“This election is a victory. A victory and a vindication for Democrats, our agenda, and for America and for the American people,” Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said in a statement on Sunday.
Erdoğan had defined Nevada as a critical region and expressed hope that the Republicans would win it, but with the finalisation of the results there, it has become certain that the Democrats have achieved the majority in the Senate.
As a NATO member, Turkey requested to buy 40 F-16 fighters and nearly 80 modernisation kits for its existing warplanes from the USA. The Senate has the final decision on any sale, and the Democrats having won the majority in the Senate, this sale can be stopped.
Erdoğan told Reuters in September that he had received “positive” feedback from two US senators he met in New York on their potential support for the sale of F-16 fighter jets to his government.
Members of the Hellenic Caucus at the US Congress noted in July that there were still too many outstanding issues to move forward with the sale of F-16s to Turkey, and that Joe Biden’s administration needed to mitigate concerns that Turkey would use the fighter jets against US allies, including Greece and Syrian Kurds.
US lawmakers sent a letter to President Joe Biden in July expressing opposition to the potential sale of F-16 fighter planes and mechanical upgrades to Turkey because of ‘vast human rights abuses committed at home and abroad’ by Erdoğan’s administration.