Senator Menendez Grills Secretary Blinken on Turkey

Menendez Blinken Turkey
Secretary of State Antony Blinken was criticized by Senator Menendez for US support for Turkey. Credit: Twitter/Antony Blinken

The US Secretary of State Antony Blinken was grilled on Washington’s support for Turkey by Bob Menendez at a Senate hearing on Wednesday.

The Chairman of the Committee on International Relations of the Senate, a staunch critic of Erdogan’s Turkey, and an opponent of the administration’s plans to upgrade the country’s fleet of F-16 jets posed a number of questions to Blinken without mentioning Turkey.

He listed all the wrongdoings of Turkey, including the threats against Greece and asked Blinken: “How would you call such a country?”.

Blinken: “I think I would call it a challenging ally”

Menendez: “Well, I call this country Turkey. And the reality is that I don’t think that such a country … that it’s worth selling the F-16s to. ”

Grecian Delight supports Greece

Senator Bob Menendez launches 90 -second long tirade criticising Turkey on everything from human rights, ties w/Greece, delay of NATO expansion & asks “What do you call such a country?” Blinken responds: “A challenging ally.” Menendez says Ankara doesn’t deserve to get the F-16s.

— Hümeyra Pamuk (@humeyra_pamuk) March 22, 2023

Menendez grills Blinken on Turkey

Menendez: What do you call a country:

Which violates the airspace and territorial waters of another country without prior provocation?

Who exercises in the exclusive economic zone of another country?

Who is buying Russian military equipment in violation of US law?

Which has more lawyers and journalists in jail than almost any other country and jails its main political opponent before an election?

Which seeks by force to block the rights of an EU member state to research on its continental shelf?

Which has not only joined the EU sanctions. against Russia, but has exported about $800 million worth of goods to Russia?

Continuing airstrikes in Iraq and Syria, including against US partners such as the Syrian Democratic Forces?

Where did he stop the critical enlargement of NATO?

Which continues to occupy an EU country. with 40,000 troops and in violation of UN Security Council resolutions and seeks to open an area frozen by the United Nations?

Who denies religious freedom to the religious leader of millions of citizens of the Greek Orthodox faith?

Who has turned a church into a mosque in violation of UNESCO commitments?

Where are arrests and imprisons of US personnel?

Blinken: “I think I would call it a challenging ally”

Menendez: “Well, I call this country Turkey. And the reality is that I don’t think that such a country … that it’s worth selling the F-16s to.”

Opposition to F-16’s for Turkey

In January, Menendez expressed his clear opposition to the sale of F-16 fighter aircraft to Turkey.

Speaking to Mega TV, he said that the U.S. State Department should adopt a firmer stance toward Turkey instead of calling on both Greece and Turkey to tone down their rhetoric or find a peaceful way to resolve their differences when only one side was being belligerent.

Menendez also welcomed the sale of F-35 jets to Greece, noting that Greece has proven itself a strong ally in NATO, with a government and a people that “share our values,” while noting that this plays an important role in the sale of American military equipment abroad.

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