Congressman Sarbanes Slams Turkey on F-35, Calls Ankara ”Oppressive Autocracy”

Sarbanes is the U.S. Representative for Maryland’s 3rd congressional district, serving since 2007.

Congressman John Sarbanes issued a statement on Friday commenting on Turkey’s recent actions and Washington‘s intention to prevent Ankara from obtaining new F-35 fighter jets.

The American politician of Greek descent represents the 3rd District of Maryland. He hailed the House Appropriations Subcommittee on State and Foreign Operations’ approval of a funding bill which included his own language to prevent Turkey from acquiring the F-35 Lighting II fighter jet while it simultaneously attempts to purchase and integrate advanced Russian missile defense systems.

Sarbanes used strong language against Ankara, noting that ”Erdogan’s Turkey continues to spiral into an oppressive autocracy.”

The Congressman also accused the Turkish government of engaging ”in antagonistic activity toward Greece and Cyprus,” drawing itself ”closer to hostile actors like Russia.”

Sarbanes referred to Ankara’s decision to obtain the Russian-made S-400 missile system, despite the warnings from Washington that this would bear severe consequences.

The Congressman applauded the House Appropriations Subcommittee for taking ”this important step to protect our national security, as well as the security of our NATO allies.”

Sarbanes concluded his statement noting that ”for all of these reasons, we must not allow Turkey to receive the F-35 fighter jet.”