As well as politically and morally supporting the Turkish invasion of Cyprus in 1974, America also supplied the weaponry for the assault and continues to provide Turkey with the tanks, aircraft and so on that maintain the occupation. The fact that Turkey’s use of American weapons in Cyprus can be interpreted as breaking US law – which prohibits the use of US weapons in circumstances that violate international law or in acts of aggression – does not seem to matter to US decision makers, even though Greek Americans are now pursuing the matter through the Washington courts.
Anyway, I mention this now because there is a report in the Financial Times today (see below) that suggests that President Barack Obama has threatened Turkey that if it continues with its hostile attitude to Israel, then it is unlikely that America will be in a position to supply the Turkish armed with much-sought-after US military equipment.
See, Americans can face down the Turks if they want to, and I guess they want to when it comes to Israel but not when it comes to Greece/Cyprus.
US issues arms deal ultimatum to Turkey
President Barack Obama has personally warned Turkey’s prime minister that unless Ankara shifts its position on Israel and Iran it stands little chance of obtaining the US weapons it wants to buy.
Mr Obama’s warning to Recep Tayyip Erdogan is particularly significant as Ankara wants to buy American drone aircraft – such as the missile-bearing Reaper – to attack the Kurdish separatist PKK after the US military pulls out of Iraq at the end of 2011.
The PKK has traditionally maintained bases in the remote mountains in the north of Iraq, near the Turkish border.
One senior administration official said: “The president has said to Erdogan that some of the actions that Turkey has taken have caused questions to be raised on the Hill [Congress]… about whether we can have confidence in Turkey as an ally. That means that some of the requests Turkey has made of us, for example in providing some of the weaponry that it would like to fight the PKK, will be harder for us to move through Congress.”
Read the rest of the story here: