US Senate votes to remove Turkey from F-35 program

The Senate of the United States has voted to approve the bill from the US House of Representatives (HR 5515) or the proposed National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2019 on June 18. The said bill is now for US President Donald Trump’s signature to be enacted as law.

The approved bill, under Section 1269 of the said proposed law, includes provision removing Turkey from the F-35 program.

The proposed law stipulates that Turkey has detained and wrongly charged American Protestant Pastor Andrew Brunson with belonging to a terrorist organization and engaging in terrorist activities.

“Congress will not tolerate any foreign government’s efforts to use United States citizens for political leverage,” says in the bill.

It also cited Turkey’s intent to buy Russian S–400 missile system and Turkey’s effort to enhance relations with Russia.

“President Erdogan, along with other senior officials of the Government of the Republic of Turkey, have publicly and repeatedly stated the intention of the Government of the Republic of Turkey to purchase the S–400 system from Russia, an act that is sanctionable under current United States law,” it added.

“Any effort by the Government of the Republic of Turkey to further enhance their relationship with Russia will degrade the general security of the NATO alliance, and NATO member countries, and degrade interoperability of the alliance,” it noted.