US President Biden congratulates Turkish President Erdogan, discusses potential F-16 jet fighter sale

WASHINGTON, D.C. — US President Joe Biden announced that he spoke with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on the phone, extending his congratulations on his success in Turkey’s presidential elections.

During a speech in front of the White House on Monday, President Biden revealed that Erdogan expressed his interest in purchasing F-16 jet fighters from the United States.

In response, President Biden stated that he would explore the possibility of approving the sale of American fighter jets, contingent upon Turkey dropping its objections to Sweden’s accession to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO).

While President Erdogan withdrew his objection to Finland’s NATO membership in late March, he has maintained opposition to Sweden’s path towards joining the alliance.

The ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) government headed by Erdogan bases its stance against Sweden’s NATO accession on Sweden’s support for Kurdish political movements within Turkey, which the Turkish President and his party oppose.

In a related context, European politicians have continued to urge Turkish immigrants to consider the implications of supporting Erdogan. Gert Wilders, the leader of the Freedom Party in the Netherlands and a member of the Dutch Parliament, expressed his frustration in a tweet directed at Turks residing outside Turkey, including those in the Netherlands, who played a role in determining Turkey’s future through their votes for Erdogan.

Wilders called on Turkish supporters of Erdogan to pack their bags and return to Turkey, asking, “If you desire Erdogan’s rule, why not live with him?”

On Monday, German Minister of Food and Agriculture Cem Ozdemir called for a reconsideration of Berlin’s policy towards the Turkish government and Turkish immigrants who voted for Erdogan in the presidential elections. Ozdemir emphasized that they should bear the consequences of their choice, while acknowledging that the impact of Erdogan’s leadership will primarily affect Turks residing in Turkey.