In Turkey, the first consignment of United States military supplies since the lifting of the arms embargo last month, has arrived in the capital, Ankara.
In Turkey, the first consignment of United States military supplies since the lifting of the arms embargo last month, has arrived in the capital, Ankara. The ban on arms sales to Turkey was imposed by the United States government in 1975 following the Turkish invasion of Cyprus in 1974. President Jimmy Carter personally backed the bill to lift the embargo, and the first shipment to Turkey contained supplies which had been ordered before the ban was imposed.
SYNOPSIS: The huge United States military aircraft touched down at Ankara's Esenboga Airport on Wednesday (25 October). On board was the first part of a U.S. $85-million consignment of supplies, ordered in 1975. The rest of the arms will be sent by air and sea within the next few weeks.
About 20 tonnes of spares and equipment for the Turkish Armed Forces were unloaded from the aircraft. Two more flights were expected the same day. Turkish Prime Minister, Bullet Ecevit, has campaigned against the embargo since its imposition. Once the ban was lifted, the Greek government fiercely condemned the decision, claiming that the resumption of arms sales would upset the power balance in the Eastern mediterranean.
Turkey is the second largest military power within the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO), and the lifting of the embargo could have radical effects on its future foreign policy. Turkish Foreign Minister, Gunduz Okcun, stressed this point before meeting European Common Market officials in Britain.