back to article What next for the F-35 after Turkey's threats to turn its back on NATO?

Turkey has hinted it may try to leave NATO – which could cause difficulties for the Lockheed Martin F-35 programme because the country has signed up to buy 100 of the advanced jet fighters. Speaking to state news agency Anadolu, Turkey's foreign minister, Mevlut Cavusoglu, hit out at both NATO and the EU over their lack of …

  1. m0rt

    "Currently there are 3,100 F-35s on order from 12 countries, with 2,400 of those being destined for the US. Britain's purchase of 138 F-35Bs is intended chiefly to equip the Royal Navy's Fleet Air Arm for deployment aboard Britain's Queen Elizabeth-class aircraft carriers."

    The whole F-35 reminds me of a kickstarter campaign. You pledge a few trillion, we will develop the aircraft etc etc.

    Then when the eta whooshes past, the excuses, the problems, the infighting all start happening.

    1. The Man Who Fell To Earth Silver badge
      WTF?

      "The whole F-35 reminds me of a kickstarter campaign."

      You must be a Millennial, since you seem to think a 300+ year old business model is new & original to Kickstarter. I've got news for you: Nothing about Kickstarters business model is new or innovative. All of the old Natural History books for example, by the likes of Audubon, Humboldt, etc were not printed unless they got a large enough pool of presubscriptions & deposits to fund the printing. A huge number of industries have used a similar "prefunding" concept over the centuries.

      1. DrXym Silver badge

        Re: "The whole F-35 reminds me of a kickstarter campaign."

        "Nothing about Kickstarters business model is new or innovative. "

        You have to admit it's fairly innovative. They've set up a site that matches suckers with money to hucksters who want to take it from them. And they skim a mere 8% of all the cash flowing from one side to another for this matchmaking service.

        1. Mark 85 Silver badge

          Re: "The whole F-35 reminds me of a kickstarter campaign."

          You have to admit it's fairly innovative.

          No.. it's not. Consider bankers, stock brokers, and bookies...

        2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

          Re: "The whole F-35 reminds me of a kickstarter campaign."

          "You have to admit it's fairly innovative. They've set up a site that matches suckers with money to hucksters who want to take it from them. And they skim a mere 8% of all the cash flowing from one side to another for this matchmaking service."

          South Sea Bubble. Tulips from Amsterdam. Scottish attempts to set up a colony on America. Building the railways across the UK by subscription.

      2. m0rt

        Re: "The whole F-35 reminds me of a kickstarter campaign."

        @TMWFTE

        You may notice that the comment was absurd. Taking the current F-35 issues and comparing it to various issues that have had some high profile 'bumps' on kickstarter. But, like, whatever dude...#amibothered*

        *Sorry, not sure? Is this how 'millennials' speak? But I appreciate you taking the time to educate me, even if it was unnecessary.

        It shows you care.

    2. BillG
      Coat

      Turkey has hinted it may try to leave NATO – which could cause difficulties for the Lockheed Martin F-35 programme because the country has signed up to buy 100 of the advanced jet fighters.

      Turkey always threatens to leave NATO the year of a US Presidential election. They do this to pressure the U.S. President to send Turkey "aid" (bribes) to shut up so they do not make the present President's party look bad.

      This will all go away in a few weeks when Barry buys $25 Billion of girl scout cookies from Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's daughter.

  2. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

    I'm sure Mr Putin

    would offer some SU-35's to his pal Erdogan as a more than ample replacement

    What then for the Turkish desire to be part of the EU? Probably accelerated by 5 years.

    1. Danny 14 Silver badge

      Re: I'm sure Mr Putin

      Actually the opposite. EU days fuck you and turkey becomes russias bitch. Things wont be too rosy for them then

      1. Voland's right hand Silver badge

        Re: I'm sure Mr Putin

        turkey becomes russias

        Why becomes?

        Breakdown:

        6Bn Tourist trade

        Several Bn Energy dependency. While Turkey can get oil and gas from elsewhere (there were some interesting satellite photos of their southern border published this year), its only cheap and guaranteed supply is GasProm.

        6Bn+ Trade and transport dependency - Turkey primary trading partners are Eu and Central Asian nations. No permits for trucks to traverse Russia to get there and back, no trade.

        Various odds and sods - construction, etc.

        Why do you think Erdogan went to Moscow. He could put on a brave face only for a limited amount of times. Vlad has always had him by the balls, it was only a matter of time for his mind and soul to follow.

    2. MyffyW Silver badge

      Re: I'm sure Mr Putin

      Although I should care, the cost of the F-35 bothers me much less than the potential for Russia to have unfettered access to the Med. That is a game changer.

      Of course it's baffled me for sometime why we're buying the F-35 rather than the F-18. But I'm off to feed the (cancelled) cats and set the (nonexistent) traps.

      Wonder if you can launch a Hornet from a ski jump?

  3. ElectricFox
    Joke

    cutting-edge Western jets?

    I thought this article was about the F-35...

    1. phuzz Silver badge

      Re: cutting-edge Western jets?

      It's paper cuts form the stack of bills.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    If there's 3100 on order, 100 isn't such a big number. Surely an existing customer could bring forward its future orders, or buy a few extra at cost.

    If it means keeping them out of the hands of Russia, it seems worth it.

  5. Fazal Majid

    Erdögan's rhetoric is unseemly at best, but the US *is* harboring the head of a Scientology-meets-Opus-Dei cult that masterminded a failed coup attempt that killed hundreds in Turkey. It's as if the commander of the Provisional IRA were living in Virginia unfettered while organizing a terror spree in London. The Turks' fury is somewhat understandable.

    1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
      Holmes

      Oh yeah?

      I haven't heard any confirmation that Erdogan's old pal Gulen was actually involved in anything, except the rantings of a quite obviously mentally unstable "president" of Turkey.

      1. The Man Who Fell To Earth Silver badge
        Boffin

        Oh yeah?

        The fact that the US has Rule of Law will be a huge source of frustration for Erdogan.

    2. smudge
      Holmes

      It's as if the commander of the Provisional IRA were living in Virginia unfettered while organizing a terror spree in London.

      I assume that you are too young to remember that there was indeed open support, and funding, of the IRA in the USA.

      Back in the 80s, I once had an interesting conversation in a Covent Garden pub with a very nice Catholic girl from Boston, whose priest had openly told his flock to support the armed struggle against the British oppressors. I told her a few facts, and I shall never forget the look on her face when the penny dropped and she understood that at any second, without warning, we could get blown to pieces by her noble freedom fighters. One fewer IRA supporter after that!

      (BTW, this isn't support of your belief that the coup in Turkey was organised by Gulen. I wouldn't trust anything that Erdogan says.)

      1. Commswonk

        Back in the 80s, I once had an interesting conversation in a Covent Garden pub with a very nice Catholic girl from Boston, whose priest had openly told his flock to support the armed struggle against the British oppressors. I told her a few facts, and I shall never forget the look on her face when the penny dropped...

        IIRC the penny really dropped in the wider US when 9/11 happened, and gave US citizens a less romantic view of what terrorism looked like.

        1. jason 7

          Always liked that bit in Patriot Games when Jack Ryan tell the US based head of the IRA support that if he put his injured daughter on the US TV news, that support would dry up so fast, the boys back in Belfast would be throwing rocks by the end of the week. Or words to that effect.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      He seems to have been Erdogan's best mate for a fair while but if you want to make comparisons with other things Trotsky (and Zinoviev) used to stand side-by-side with Stalin.

      I also note that a certain web based encyclopaedia thingy says "Gülen has stated that he believes in science, interfaith dialogue among the People of the Book, and multi-party democracy" while it also says " key ideals of Erdoğanism include a religious inspired strong centralised leadership based primarily on electoral consent and less so on the separation of powers and institutional checks and balances."

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      A little bit of history worth repeating...

      Do you remember an organisation called "Noraid?" Rich Americans sending money to the "brave freedom fighters" to blow up civilians as well as the evil oppressive forces of the UK...

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: A little bit of history worth repeating...

        Do you remember an organisation called the UDR? Or the Glenanne gang? British state paid murderers blowing up, shooting, murdering and maiming innocent civilians. That gang were police and british army, the british "security" forces.

    5. CrazyOldCatMan
      FAIL

      > commander of the Provisional IRA were living in Virginia

      You do realise the irony of that statement don't you? The fact the the provos were largely funded by donations from people in the US for many years seems to have escaped you..

      (Actually - replace 'Virginia' with 'New York' and you probably wouldn't be far off)

      1. Lapun Mankimasta

        You do realise the irony of that statement don't you?

        "The fact the the provos were largely funded by donations from people in the US for many years seems to have escaped you.."

        Tchah! It's what people call "Special Relationship"!!! Having a special relationship means never having to say you're sorry when some of your citizens kill a member of the ruling family of your closest ally ... and narrowly miss killing the Prime Minister your President is so fond of!!! "Terrorism" is something only Arabs and Muslims do.Catholics and Protestants do something else - something to do with what's in the water, I think.

    6. The Man Who Fell To Earth Silver badge
      Boffin

      The US has freedom of speech enshrined in it's Constitution. It's a hard concept to grasp for those who live in authoritarian regimes.

      Erdögan is the type that C.S. Lewis had in mind when he said, "Above all else, the Devil cannot stand to be mocked."

      The US needs to really evaluate it's relationship with Turkey. Turkey was let into NATO in 1952 simply because the US wanted both listening posts and missiles stationed on the USSR's border. But Turkey has never dealt with the US in any manner other than duplicity. And Turkey has pretty much completely failed to live up to it's NATO obligations in the last decade & a half. The US has enough duplicitous "friends" in the Middle East, but those others don't have the access to the weapons & intelligence that Turkey does through NATO.

      NATO should give Turkey the boot, as Turkey adds nothing to NATO at this point. And the US should leave NATO if the rest of the NATO members are not willing to give Turkey the boot. NATO needs the US a lot more than the US needs NATO.

      1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
        Meh

        Re: The Man Who fell To Earth

        "....Turkey adds nothing to NATO....." Largely agree, but Turkey actually solves two NATO issues and helps with a third, as well as helping keep the Russian fleet contained (as mentioned in the article).

        The first is the long-festering hatred between Greece and Turkey, which has threatened to explode into open warfare over the Aegean islands more than once. Greece has actually shot down Turkish jets whilst both were members of NATO! Being members of NATO has kept the matter from progressing too far, and a war between NATO Greece and a non-NATO Turkey would likely drag in Cyprus (involving the UK and EU) and reignite anti-Muslim sentiments in the former Yugoslavic countries, matters NATO would rather not explore.

        The second is that Turkey's geographical location makes it very useful for basing forces for the Middle East. Turkish bases have hosted US jets and special forces during both the Gulf War and the Invasion of Iraq, and are currently being used for fighting Daesh in Syria and Iraq. It also acts as a staging post for flights out to Afghanistan. In a NATO shooting war with Russia it offers a nice starting point for destroying the Russian oil- and gas-fields in the Caspian and Black Seas and Tartarstan. Should NATO/UN action ever be launched against Iran it is also likely to be mounted in part from Turkish bases. NATO forces in Turkey threaten Russia with a three-front war.

        The third is that predominantly-Muslim Turkish membership allows NATO to paint itself as not just white and Christian, which is very important to those politicians with their heads buried in the PC sand. In the Middle East, predominantly-Sunni Turkey does help in the balance of power with other Muslim countries like Russian-friendly Shia Iran, which is probably why the EU and US are not making too much noise over Erdogan's alleged human rights abuses and manipulation of the democratic system. At the same time, about 20% of Turks are Shias, which means there is plenty of scope for Iranian meddling. Russia also has history helping the terrorist PKK which Erdogan hates, and has cuddled up to the cash-strapped Greeks.

        From a purely US-centric perspective, Turkey also has historically bought a lot of American military items, from tanks through jets to warships. Indeed, the sheer amount of American high-tech in the Turkish military would make it very difficult to integrate Russian systems into a future Turkish military. Which is reason why the idea that Erdogan will suddenly buy Russian is pretty unlikely.

        So, IMHO, NATO and Turkey do need each other.

        1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

          Re: The Man Who fell To Earth

          "war between NATO Greece and a non-NATO Turkey would likely drag in Cyprus (involving the UK and EU) and reignite anti-Muslim sentiments in the former Yugoslavic countries, matters NATO would rather not explore."

          One of the prime tenets of the NATO Articles of Treaty are than an attack on one NATO member is an attack on all of them, so unless Greece was the aggressor, a non-NATO Turkey would be on a hiding to nothing to try military engagement with Greece.

        2. fajensen Silver badge
          Flame

          Re: The Man Who fell To Earth

          And ... WHY do "we" need forces in the middle east? So far not one damn bit of good has come from it!!

        3. Dimitri
          WTF?

          Re: The Man Who fell To Earth

          Umm, WTF?

          Greece has never, ever shot down a Turkish fighter plane. Why on earth would they, when the Turkish army is slightly larger than the population of Greece?

          In fact the Turkish Air Force violates Greek airspace between 5-10 per DAY, something which is acknowledged by NATO. There are regular requests by NATO to Turkey to stop this practice to which Turkey replies...nothing. Greece makes a point of chasing out the turkish jets without causing any incident, since the situation would escalate immediately to a potentially armed exchange if any planes were actually shot down.

          Your comments indicate you lack any grasp of such issues whatsoever. Are you just pulling stuff out of your ar*e, or can you cite some reliable sources for this nonsense?

          1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
            Facepalm

            Re: Dimitri Re: The Man Who fell To Earth

            "....Greece has never, ever shot down a Turkish fighter plane...." Ahem, you might want to Yahoogle for the name Thanos Grivas, the Greek Mirage 2000 pilot who the Turks wanted to extradite after they allege he shot down a Turkish F-16D on 8th October 1996 with an R.550 AAM (and after which the Greeks posted pics of his jet with a Turkish "kill" painted on it).

            ".... Why on earth would they, when the Turkish army is slightly larger than the population of Greece?...." I suggest you go ask the Greeks, they have a revanchist chip on their shoulders when it comes to Turkey, dating back to the Ottoman era. Indeed, getting rid of that chip would also stop Greece spending a massive chunk of money on arms purchases when it is needed elsewhere in Greece.

            "....Greece makes a point of chasing out the turkish jets without causing any incident....." Hmmm, the admitted score so far seems to be one Hellenic Air Force Mirage and two Turkish Air Force F-16s "crashing" as a result of those non-incidents, plus a collision between a Greek and a Turkish F-16s that caused both to crash.

            ".....There are regular requests by NATO to Turkey to stop this practice to which Turkey replies...nothing...." Turkey's reply is that they don't recognize the ten-mile exclusive airspace claimed by Greece on some of the Aegean Isles as it overlaps the international airspace between the Turkish coast and the islands. AFAIK, both sides have been happy to continue the macho posturing rather than seeking to address the matter at an international tribunal (there was an attempt at the ICJ in 1976 that failed, and this article has the legal points neatly outlined plus a complex possible solution). NATO doesn't have the legal powers to interfere. Interestingly, the Greeks do have something to gain by continuing the matter as territorial disputes are a means of blocking Turkey from joining the EU.

            ".....Your comments indicate you lack any grasp of such issues whatsoever...." I have worked and lived in Cyprus, Greece and Turkey and I am very aware of the state of Greco-Turkish relations and their history, thanks.

      2. fajensen Silver badge

        NATO should give Turkey the boot, as Turkey adds nothing to NATO at this point.

        The New and Improved Activist NATO needs War in order to appear relevant. The odds are good that a belligerent Turkey can manage to create yet another of those tribal messes that the NATO of today is so fond of being dragged into.

        IOW - NATO likes what is sees in Turkey and want more of it.

    7. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Right...

      "Erdögan's rhetoric is unseemly at best, but the US *is* harboring the head of a Scientology-meets-Opus-Dei cult that masterminded a failed coup attempt that killed hundreds in Turkey. It's as if the commander of the Provisional IRA were living in Virginia unfettered while organizing a terror spree in London. The Turks' fury is somewhat understandable."

      Except that the Provisional IRA openly operated in Ireland, and claimed responsibilities for those violent actions. Gulen supporters said they are not involved with any violence in Turkey, and actively oppose violence. There is no evidence that Gulen supporters were involved. The only evidence that has been presented, is that Gulen supporters tend to be critics of the president. And now, that is enough to be arrested.

      And as mentioned in the article, it is an open question if the coup was actually a coup, or just a marketing event.

    8. Voland's right hand Silver badge

      It's as if the commander of the Provisional IRA were living in Virginia

      You are obviously too young to remember when it was not just the case, but when IRA ran fundraisers and young aspiring billioners (nowdays presidential candidates) with severe hair organization deficiencies were guests of honour - introduced by Gerry Adams himself.

      Not particularly different from Chechen terrorists who had direct involvement with the Rostov-na-Don hijackings, Nord-Ost theatre incident and the Moscow metro bombings walking freely the streets of London by the way.

    9. Jugernautilus

      Evidence for that? And I'm not being sarcastic, just wondering if there is a shred of evidence for that other than Erdögan's say so?

  6. Jimmy2Cows Silver badge
    Meh

    potentially hostile states learning more about the F-35 than we would like

    Suspect these "potentially hostile states" already know everything there is to know about the F-35.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: potentially hostile states learning more about the F-35 than we would like

      I suspect that knowing precisely why a given machine doesn't work is of rather limited practical value.

      1. fajensen Silver badge
        Devil

        Re: potentially hostile states learning more about the F-35 than we would like

        Au Contraire - Knowing,

        1) why some technology cannot be made to work reliably, and

        2) who is pursuing the failed approach / technology

        Is of *enormous* commercial value, especially with technologies where the failure modes are subtle and emerge late in the project, preferably after shipping. Watching the competition pouring money and effort into the "should-improve-aany-day-now" rat-hole while you are quietly taking a different approach - and short their stock - is very satisfying.

        Especially after having been on the other side of that equation before, working with increasing desperation on finding out *why* those damn HV-transistors are blowing up after some 1000's of hours operation when they ought get 50000 hours MTBF. Then presenting the gist of the project at a conference, leaving out the doesn't work for very long - part. ;-).

  7. GrumpyOldBloke

    Sorry, it was not clear from the article. Do we give Turkey the F35's to encourage them to stay with NATO or to encourage them to leave?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Do we give Turkey the F35's to encourage them to stay with NATO or to encourage them to leave?

      So we can shoot them down with F15s if the bastards turn on us.

      1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge
        Joke

        Re: Do we give Turkey the F35's to encourage them to stay with NATO or to encourage them to leave?

        "So we can shoot them down with F15s if the bastards turn on us."

        With WaaS (Warplanes as a Service), an F35 owning, non-NATO turkey might find that their F35s won't even start, never mind fly. Or have Teamview pre-installed so US cyberwarfare (or anyone who fancies a go) can take over remotely ;-)

        1. Danny 14 Silver badge

          Re: Do we give Turkey the F35's to encourage them to stay with NATO or to encourage them to leave?

          F35s wont need outside help to fail. They do that well enough themselves.

  8. MrDamage

    figuring out at their leisure what its weaknesses are

    They're going to need a lot of leisure time, given they'll be too busy ROFLING when they see the clusterfuck of coding in it.

    1. dajames Silver badge

      Re: figuring out at their leisure what its weaknesses are

      They're going to need a lot of leisure time, given they'll be too busy ROFLING when they see the clusterfuck of coding in it.

      They never will see the clusterfuck of coding, the US guards the technological assets of the F35 so jealously that you have to send the thing back to Lockheed Martin just to have its anti-virus software updated!

      Actually looking at the code is verboten.

      1. Dan Wilkie

        Re: figuring out at their leisure what its weaknesses are

        I'm pretty sure that the Russians wouldn't be to phased at the prospect of breaching the licensing agreement though to be fair...

      2. Dr. Mouse

        Re: figuring out at their leisure what its weaknesses are

        you have to send the thing back to Lockheed Martin just to have its anti-virus software updated!

        Erm... Anti-virus?!

        Obligatory xkcd: https://xkcd.com/463/

      3. jason 7

        Re: figuring out at their leisure what its weaknesses are

        Bet there is a lot of black boxes filled with hard epoxy in those planes.

  9. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
    Big Brother

    Hillary's HITLER DETECTOR still hasn't twigged. The wench must be busy....

    we have not seen an indication [the coup] will affect our business

    I'm totally sure Erdogan's coup won't affect business. Totally.

  10. Pen-y-gors Silver badge

    Failed coup?

    Whoever was involved in organising part 1 of the coup, it clearly failed badly. Part 2, organised by the goat-botherer-in-chief has been a terrific success. And the locals seem to be lapping it up. Very strange.

    1. Mark 85 Silver badge

      Re: Failed coup?

      He seems to be playing both ends against each other. Selling oil for one side, providing bases, etc. for the other. If does it well, he might just survive... but it is a very dangerous game for him to play.

  11. Anonymous Custard Silver badge
    Trollface

    Call a roofer

    In spite of all the security worries, losing 100 F-35 orders as well as a reasonably large industrial partner would doubtless push the costs of the F-35 programme through the roof.

    You mean they're going to have to build yet another roof for the costs to bust through, given how many times it has already done so?

    I guess it'll keep someone in business anyway, even if it is just a builder...

    1. Danny 14 Silver badge

      Re: Call a roofer

      'Weve just lost 5% of our orders. Price has doubled!'

      Pork. Pork and more pork.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Mushroom

    Sweeten the deal or else...

    Need I say more?

  13. Commswonk

    Not the biggest problem...

    Turkey has hinted it may try to leave NATO – which could cause difficulties for the Lockheed Martin F-35 programme because the country has signed up to buy 100 of the advanced jet fighters.

    I would venture to suggest that the fate of the F-35 is a bit of a side issue. Any hint that Turkey's commitment to NATO / the West is anything less than rock solid will give NATO and the West a far bigger headache than any worries about the cost of an aircraft programme.

    Turkey finds itself almost centre stage in the mess that is Syria and perhaps the wider Middle East and the West's (embodied in this case by the EU) understandable reluctance to accept any and all those who turn up on its shores has provided Turkey with a major problem which it itself cannot resolve. In turn Turkey has tried arm - twisting the West / the EU for money and preferment for EU membership and this has probably not gone down well in western / EU government circles; Turkey's actions barely fall short of blackmail.

    Then of course the coup came along and failed, and rightly or wrongly (I really don't know which) Turkey has used this in an attempt to get its own way on the international stage.

    Russia's Putin must love all this; friction between NATO partners / Western Allies which he probably did nothing to trigger, and yet he is well placed to make what capital he can in Russia's favour.

    Any hint that Turkey might leave NATO would inevitably give the rest of NATO and the US in particular reason to worry about the wisdom of providing F-35s to Turkey in the first place. What would happen if Turkey turned its back on NATO after taking delivery? The risk of a technology transfer would become much greater; it's probably something of a risk now anyway, but allowing that risk to become greater would seem foolhardy.

    Perhaps the F-35 is equipped to be remotely hackable (let's face it; practically everything else these days is) but that would not alter the fact that the aircarft were on "foreign" soil with little or no chance of recovery.

    So as far as I am concerned the fact that an order for 100 aircraft might be frustrated is the least of the potential worries. Not that my world view is likely to give anyone either sleepless nights or a solution to their problems...

    1. Fatman
      Joke

      Re: Not the biggest problem...

      <quote>Perhaps the F-35 is equipped to be remotely hackable (let's face it; practically everything else these days is) but that would not alter the fact that the aircarft were on "foreign" soil with little or no chance of recovery.</quote>

      You underestimate the deviousness of some TLAs, and their profit from war comrades.

      Do you honestly think something as <sarcasm>advanced</sarcasm> as the F-35 doesn't have a "Repo" function hard coded in. The ultimate in DRM.

      I can picture this now, Turkey gets their F-35's, tells the USofA and NATO to fuck off thinking that they have pulled one over. They take the planes out for a spin afterward, only to have the pilots automatically ejected, and the planes diverted to a friendly air base.

      1. Wayland Bronze badge

        Re: Not the biggest problem...

        "They take the planes out for a spin afterward, only to have the pilots automatically ejected, and the planes diverted to a friendly air base."

        I'm not saying they would not have that feature but it's a dangerous feature. Imagine they are on a NATO mission and the enemy hit's the trigger for that code. If the code did not exist it could not be triggered.

      2. YetAnotherLocksmith

        Re: Not the biggest problem...

        I seriously doubt that would work unless you could somehow convince the Turks to get all 100 planes up at the same time. Once 1 plane flew away, they'd be wise to the trick, & they'd be shipped by truck to a reverse engineering plant in Russia to cure the problem.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    piggy in the middle

    Erdogan needs to choose a side quick! A mistress cannot serve two masters.

    1. m0rt

      Re: piggy in the middle

      Maybe not, but she can certainly play them off against each other whilst enjoying the benefits of both...

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: piggy in the middle

      I've seen videos that prove otherwise.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: piggy in the middle

      But a whore can serve thousands before her market value is diminished.

    4. MyffyW Silver badge

      You've been a very naughty boy.

      @AC et al You know quite well a Mistress serves no-one.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    They wanted us involved in their coup?

    What role did they think NATO or the EU or the US should have played in their coup? If there was a coup in France, for instance, is there anything in NATO treaties or EU laws that say the UK or Germany should get involved to try to prop up the French government against whoever was trying to overthrow them?

    As for Russia getting their hands on a F35, the more the US tries to push NATO into former Soviet bloc countries, the easier that will be for them. Surely those countries have some Russian sympathizers or deep cover agents that could be in a position to gain access to the F35s. I imagine the US or its allies do the same to get access to Soviet and Chinese fighters.

    Anyway, we didn't built the F35 to be superior, that's what the F22 was for. We built it to line the pockets of defense contractors, and sell planes that we knew we could shoot down with little effort should they someday be turned against us (i.e. because of a coup in a former ally)

    1. Lapun Mankimasta

      Re: They wanted us involved in their coup?

      "I imagine the US or its allies do the same to get access to Soviet and Chinese fighters."

      With both India and Pakistan buying up heavily in Soviet weaponry during the Cold War and both being in some sort of relationship to both the USSR and the USA, do you think that was ever a problem? Ditto the newly independent African states ... only a problem with the MiG 25 and MiG 31, IIRC.

    2. Manolo

      Re: They wanted us involved in their coup?

      "If there was a coup in France, for instance, is there anything in NATO treaties or EU laws that say the UK or Germany should get involved to try to prop up the French government against whoever was trying to overthrow them?"

      NATO treaty article 5: an attack on one is an attack on all. Support is mandatory.

      Not sure though if that includes "internal" attacks like a coup.

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Amusing choice of jargon

    "...what would – or should – happen to its planned buy of 100 state-of-the-art F-35 fighters?"

    Reading that, I was powerfully reminded of an amusing sig that I saw on Slashdot 16 years ago:

    "It's state of the art." "But it doesn't work." "That is the state of the art!"

  17. allthecoolshortnamesweretaken

    "... the country has signed up to buy 100 of the advanced jet fighters."

    Maybe that's the real reason why they want out?

  18. Jason Bloomberg

    Turkey

    This looks all set to be the next Middle Eastern mess. The relationship between the west and Turkey seems entirely artificial and doomed to collapse sooner or later.

    NATO and the EU want Turkey as a strategic ally, a buffer zone for refugees we don't want, don't want her falling into Russian hands, pivoting to the Middle East. But the west doesn't actually like Turkey and how she is, and wouldn't embrace her if it were not for that self-interest.

    For Turkey's part it is much the same. She wants to be a part of NATO and the EU but only to serve her own interests and doesn't want to change how she is.

    It seems more "an enemy of my enemy is my friend" relationship and those frequently wax and wane. Particularly as there's that underlying feeling that the west and Turkey may actually be enemies as much as they like to pretend to be friends.

    1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

      Re: Turkey

      NATO and the EU want Turkey as a strategic ally, a buffer zone for refugees we don't want, don't want her falling into Russian hands, pivoting to the Middle East.

      I'm not quite sure what "pivoting to the Middle East" is supposed to mean but the situation in the Middle East is always more complicated than you think.

      Erdogan and Putin are currently just posturing. There is a long history of conflict between Russia and Turkey and they're on opposite sides in current conflicts: in Syria where Russia favours Assad and Turkey wants him toppled; in Nagorno Karabakh.

      Dictators routinely rub shoulders with each to look strong at home but they rarely form alliances of any substance. Anyone remember the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact?

    2. CCCP

      Re: Turkey

      @jb

      Typical UK perspective comment. It's all NATO and the EU. It's like the UK didn't draw half the map of the Middle East that is now the problem. No, not my problem mate...

      The UK does not have a right to cross its arms and "observe" and make smart comments. The Beeb does it all the time and it drives me nuts. We're OK on our island Jack.

      Grow some and be part of the solution for once. (No, you can't invoke Godwin's)

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Walks like a duck, quacks like a duck...

    By duck I mean unstable, unpredictable nation, with a volatile leader. Might as well also sell them a few F22s and B2s.

  20. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

    I Kid U Not. Wake Up and Smell the Cocoa API and ITs XSSXXXXPresso

    “Turkey is a valued Ally, making substantial contributions to NATO's joint efforts. Turkey takes full part in the Alliance’s consensus-based decisions as we confront the biggest security challenges in a generation. Turkey’s NATO membership is not in question.”

    NATO cannot confront and pacify or defeat the biggest security challenges in a generation with any type of formal hardware, military or civilised, for perceived enemy bases and effective competitive opposing forces are virtually protected with remote command[s] and anonymous control[s].

    The likes of the Lockheed Martin F-35 programme is just a money-spinning pit for bull marketeers and intellectually challenged war profiteers in systems which are collapsing due to a drought in seed and feed information/novel intelligence/viable and reliable imaginanation.

  21. Magani
    Facepalm

    An Ally?

    "saying: “Turkey is a valued Ally, ..."

    Might one cynically suggest that the only reason that Turkey is a) in NATO, and b) considered an ally, is that it has a back fence (and a side fence) in common with those that a certain member/s of NATO want to keep tabs on?

    1. Commswonk

      Re: An Ally?

      Might one cynically suggest that the only reason that Turkey is a) in NATO, and b) considered an ally, is that it has a back fence (and a side fence) in common with those that a certain member/s of NATO want to keep tabs on?

      I'm not sure that cynicism is the best description; perhaps it's more like a manifestation of realpolitik. Don't forget the old adage that adversity makes strange bedfellows.

      I wonder how much NATO (e.g. the US) still needs the Incirlik air base along with (ISTR) strategically placed listening stations. Developing technology may have reduced the need for either.

  22. Richard Parkin

    If Turkey wants out of NATO that removes the obstacle to giving full backing to Kurdistan.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Pirate

      Though kicking Turkey out of NATO is not something to be done lightly, considering Turkey's role in blocking Russian naval access to the Eastern Med, and that waterway's importance to European commerce and energy supplies.

      Still, Erdogan definitely seems to have more in common politically with Vlad Putin than he does with Obama/Merkel/May/Hollande.

      1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

        > Turkey's role in blocking Russian naval access to the Eastern Med

        That would mean war.

        > Erdogan definitely seems to have more in common politically with Vlad Putin

        I don't see this at all.

        > than he does with Obama/Merkel/May/Hollande

        That's for sure. He is actually able to think like a statesman. Unlike those guys who are beholden to chase ghostly liberal credentials, taking disastrous decisions and engaging in alliances that benefit no-one at home and burn down whole countries abroad.

      2. fajensen Silver badge
        Joke

        Still, Erdogan definitely seems to have more in common politically with Vlad Putin than he does with Obama/Merkel/May/Hollande.

        ... And some level of Competence and even Ideas even about shaping a desirable future for their people, while "our" leadership seems dead set on performing Brownian Motions while shouting: "TINA, TINA, TINA" at every new problem or opportunity.

        I.O.W: We are fuckt!

  23. DrXym Silver badge

    Just a guess

    The EU and NATO would have been a lot more understanding about the coup if they hadn't seen Erdogan use it as an excuse to conduct a mass purge and take one more step along the path to dictatorship.

  24. M1k3G

    A few months ago, Turkey was causing concern in NATO circles by selecting a Chinese anti-aircraft missile system. Then, as now, there was a danger of leakage of NATO secrets. Turkey already has a history of ignoring its NATO obligations to further its own interests. This will only be more pronounced in the future. Like Israel, this nation should have "partner", rather than membership status.

  25. Anonymous Coward
    Stop

    I guess Turkey's new "business model" is...

    Blackmail your neighbors, or we'll flood you with Syrian refugees. Blackmail the U.S. and NATO, or we'll hand over valuable technology (and some stuff on the F-35 /rimshot!!) to the Russians.

    1. Matt Bryant Silver badge

      Re: Marketing Hack Re: I guess Turkey's new "business model" is...

      "..... Blackmail the U.S. and NATO, or we'll hand over valuable technology (and some stuff on the F-35 /rimshot!!) to the Russians." TBH, there have always been plenty of Soviet and Putin sympathizers in NATO's European members over the years, so anything the Turks could leak will probably already be going to Putin by other routes. As examples, during WW2, a British civil servant called John Cairncross gave our nuke secrets to the KGB; Klaus Fuchs (a German who Britain took in as an escapee from Nazi persecution in the 1930s!) worked on both the British and American nuke bomb projects, and confessed to have sent nuke secrets to the Soviets; Ted Hall and David Greenglass were an all-American traitors from the Manhattan Project. By comparison with nucleur weapons, I'm sure there are plenty of Russian sympathisers that view passing on some secrets about the F-35 as quite minor.

      1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
        Paris Hilton

        Re: Marketing Hack I guess Turkey's new "business model" is...

        I don't see what "communists grabbing secrets" have to do with "Putin sympathizers". That seems to be just full-on ahistorical thinking, as we see in the retarded but well-trained (as in "trained to be a good doggie") NATO and US politicial hierarchy. We might as well go back to Tsarist times, when...

        Oh wait, it's Matt Bryant. Never mind.

  26. Steve ten Have

    Something about Turkey

    Turkeyception - Turkey buying turkeys for planes...

  27. cortland

    How about

    NATO leaving Turkey?

    It is no part of the defence of Europe and the US to prop up a regime as Islamist as ISIS (if presently less violent) and as democratic as North Korea.

  28. Nocroman

    Security First

    Turkey has hinted they might leave NATO. That is enough to pull all contracts and sale of F-35's from Turkey for ever. Or at the minimum put only 1/4 of the capabilities on the F-35's sold to Turkey so if they quit NATO, Russia does not get to reverse engineer our F-35's and know all of it's capabilities. No other country in NATO or not should get an F-35 with more than 80% of the full capabilities of the F-35. Only the United States of America gets a 100% F-35. All other countries must make their own additions to upgrade their own F-35's the buy with their own best technology. Training F-35's used to train our allies should only have the 80% capabilities exactly the same as we sell to them for their pilots to train on when we here in the USA train their pilots. That is all.

    1. YetAnotherLocksmith

      Re: Security First

      I'm sure that would simply end up being very embarrassing for the USA. That billion dollar (ok, $300 million, currently, actual price classified!) aircraft will rapidly look outclassed by faster developed, more agile new stuff at far lower cost. Or indeed, just a dark swarm of 300 $1 million drones! (probably only $50k each in reality though - but 200,000 drones would have it's own logistics issues!)

      Encouraging the USA's competitors to make their "crown jewel" tech companies look silly & slow would merely hasten the fall of the world's last superpower.

  29. Medixstiff

    What’s the worst the Russian’s can say, “it’s cr*p and you wasted your money”, we already knew that.

  30. Chakra

    Not going to end well for Turkey

    Erdogan is selling Turkey long term future for his own personal political gain, I am shocked! Taking allies of convenience to another level. Geographic pressures have made Russia and Turkey at best strategic competitors and more frequently enemies in open conflict. Imperial Russia national pastime was making Ottomans their @#$@. Whenever the Czar was bored, Russia carved up another former Ottoman province, or clandestinely supported their fellow orthodox Christians insurgencies.

    Does Erdogan really think Putin will support him when it really matter. When Greece a fellow orthodox Christian nation kicks up storm in the Aegean in the future, where do you think Putin and Russian public sympathy will tilt to? At best Russia will withdraw all logistical support for all those expensive Russian equipment and claim neutrality kneecapping Turkey's ability to defend itself, at worst the Russian black fleet will mobilize and tie up a huge portion of Turkey airforce and navy to indirectly help the Greeks.

    Nato should call his bluff and give him the middle finger or Turkey on the whole. Judging from the polls, Turkey doesn't like the West very much, so we should mutually go our separate ways.

  31. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    So, which happens first, Britain leaving* Europe or Turkey leaving NATO?

    Maybe we should have a sweep stake.

    *where leaving means actually leaving, as opposed to threatening / pretending / wanting to.

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