Turkish President Says Russian Fighter-Jet Purchase Under Consideration
(Source: Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty; posted August 30, 2019)
ANKARA --- Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is indicating that Ankara will consider its options, including Russian fighter jets, as it looks to upgrade its air force amid a rift with Washington that has halted the purchase of U.S. fighters.

"If the U.S. continues with the same stance on the F-35 issue, we will take care of ourselves," Erdogan told reporters in Ankara on August 30 in reference to Washington's decision to exclude Turkey from helping produce and purchase the United States' most advanced strike aircraft.

The United States removed its NATO ally from the F-35 program after Ankara took delivery of Russia's S-400 air-defense system in July. Washington says the S-400 could undermine the F-35 and is incompatible with NATO systems. Turkey this week received a second S-400 battery.

Erdogan's comments came just days after attending a military air show outside Moscow alongside Russian President Vladimir Putin.

"Will it be the Su-35? The F-35? Or the Su-57?" Erdogan was quoted as saying on August 30.

"We are exploring what measures we can take for our defense industry, for our defense," he said, adding that negotiations will include obtaining loans and involvement in the production of military equipment.

Russian media quoted the Turkish president as saying that aside from the possibility of purchasing Russian fighter jets, there was the prospect of cooperation with combat and reconnaissance drones.

"We have taken certain mutual steps in this area," Erdogan said.

Turkey was involved in the production of the U.S. F-35 and reportedly spent $1.4 billion on the program before its order of more than 100 of the jets was canceled.

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Turkish Foreign Minister Denies Plan to Buy Russian Jets As F-35 Fallout Continues (excerpt)
(Source: Ahval News; posted Aug. 30, 2019)
Turkey is not looking to buy Russian fighter jets and is still part of the F-35 programme, Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu told reporters on Friday, days after the Turkish president inspected new generation Russian-built planes with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin.

Ankara's purchase of Russian-built S-400 missile defence systems led to its suspension from the F-35 programme when the first S-400s arrived in Turkey in July.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's friendly meeting with Putin at and air show near Moscow on Tuesday fuelled speculation that Moscow could become Turkey's supplier for new fighters.

Çavuşoğlu downplayed the speculation during a joint press conference with Norwegian Foreign Minister Ine Eriksen Søreide on Friday.

"Firstly, we didn't say we were buying planes from Russia. We are a part of the F-35 programme", Turkey's secularist Cumhuriyet newspaper quoted Çavuşoğlu as saying.

However, the foreign minister has said that Turkey will examine alternatives if it cannot buy the F-35 jets, and Russia's Su-57 or Su-34 jets are seen as strong contenders in this instance. (end of excerpt)


Click here for the full story, on the Ahval News website.

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