Ask Your Senators and Member to Object to Sale of US Combat Helicopters to Turkey
November 3, 2011, WASHINGTON, DC – Today CEH leaders called on Greek – Americans across the country to join them in urging Senators and Members, as well as members of the Jewish community, to object to the proposed sale of US attack helicopters to Turkey, particularly at a time when Turkey is threatening US allies Cyprus and Israel.
The US Congress was formally notified on November 4 of the planned sale of three Bell AH – 1W Super Cobra Attack helicopters to Turkey, for an estimated cost of $111 million, transferring them from US Marine Corps’ existing inventory. Turkey and the US have indicated that these helicopters would replace those lost in Turkey’s long fight against the Kurdistan Workers Party, or PKK.
In addition, the Pentagon is trying to persuade Congress to allow the sale to Turkey of Predator or Reaper drones.
In recent months, Turkey has directly threatened Cyprus, over offshore drilling in Cyprus’ Exclusive Economic Zone, and Israel, over the Gaza flotilla.
While we strongly oppose such a sale, we at least hope that the Administration, as part of their effective diplomacy that they have exercised on other issues, received concessions from Turkey through this deal, along with absolute guarantees that these helicopters will not be used against Cyprus or Israel.
Members of Congress Expressing Opposition
We join numerous Members of Congress who recently expressed their objection to this sale and to Turkey’s actions on Cyprus.
One – out – of – four Members of the House (in August) and one – out – of – four US Senators (in September) expressed concern, in a letter to President Obama, about American policy toward Turkey’s occupation and division of Cyprus.
In addition, Congresswoman Shelley Berkley and Congressman Eliot Engel said in a statement yesterday:
“We strongly oppose any US arms sales to Turkey at a time when the nation continues to bully its neighbors – Cyprus and Israel…we urge our Congressional colleagues to join us in rejecting any attempt to supply weapons to a country that is threatening some of America’s closest allies.”