Turkey Can’t Accept US Impositions, Needs Both S-400 and F-35s, Erdoğan Says (excerpt)
(Source: Daily Sabah; published Aug 31, 2018)
ISTANBUL --- Turkey's foreign policy, as stated by officials in various platforms, is defined by multidimensional diplomacy, and so in supplying its defense needs, Turkey gets in touch with any partner it sees fit to carry out negotiations. While building such channels of dialogue, Turkey aims to maintain equally strong relations with other powers with which it develops military, economic and diplomatic ties. Thus, the country maintains a balance that helps it not be dependent on a single power.

In this regard, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said Friday that Turkey needs both Russian-made S-400 air defense systems and U.S.-made F-35 fighter jets, adding that it was not acceptable for the country to accept the U.S.' impositions.

In December, Turkey officially signed a $2.5 billion agreement with Russia for the S-400s – Russia's most advanced long-range anti-aircraft missile system. With the move, Turkey is set to become the first NATO member country to acquire the system. Turkey's interest in the Russian systems started due to Washington's indifferent attitude on technology transfer in the case of a possible purchase of the American-made Raytheon Patriot missiles. Turkish officials said in July that Ankara may consider buying Patriot missiles but it won't consider them as an alternative to the Russian S-400 system.

With the S-400s, Ankara aims to build Turkey's first long-range air and anti-missile defense system to boost its defense capabilities amid threats from PKK and Daesh terrorists at home and conflicts across its borders in Syria and Iraq.

"Turkey needs S-400 missiles and the deal is done, we will procure them as soon as possible," Erdoğan said at a graduation ceremony for non-commissioned officers in western Balıkesir province.

"Turkey, which is already a project partner, also needs F-35 fighter jets, its domestically-developed planes and planes developed with other countries. We have paid $900 million so far [for F-35's] and continue to pay as installments come due," Erdoğan added, but noted that the country would procure jets elsewhere if the U.S. halts the delivery of the F-35 fighter jets. (end of excerpt)

Click here for the full story, on the Daily Sabah website.


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