WASHINGTON–The Turkish military signed a $560 million contract with Sikorsky Aircraft for the purchase of 50 Black Hawk helicopters last week–despite Congressionally-mandated reports from the State Department and Pentagon that the Turkish armed forces have used US supplied helicopters in the commission of human rights abuses.
Before the sale goes through it must be approved by the Congress–which has delayed a number of military sales and transfers to Turkey due to human rights concerns.
"The sale of these armamen’s would only fuel the Turkish military’s escalation of its genocidal campaign against the Kurds," said Aram Hamparian–Executive Director of the ANCA.
"Rather than arming human rights abusers and possibly sparking a regional arms race–the Administration should withhold approval for this and other military sales to Turkey which serve neither long-term US interests nor the advancement of American values and internationally accepted human rights standards."
Turkey will be announcing finalists in a bidding war for an additional $3.5 billion helicopter purchase in early March. Front-runners for what would be the largest attack helicopter deal in history include the US companies Bell Textron and Boeing and a Russian-Israeli consortium which would combine Russian Kamov helicopters with Israeli avionics.