“Turkey is a powerful and strategic ally of NATO and the United States,” the Turkish Minister of Defence, Hulusi Akar, said. However, in the statements that followed, he admitted that he sends letters to the USA, but he does not receive any answer.
“We are trying to increase our capabilities and the capabilities of our army, day by day, with our domestic, national weapons systems, including those we buy from abroad,” Akar said on Friday.
Stressing that the supply of air defense systems has become necessary in view of the growing dangers and threats against Turkey, Akar said:
“In this context, we wanted to buy Patriots from the US and SAMP-T from France and Italy, but this was not possible for various reasons. So we bought S-400 air defense systems from Russia, which met the conditions we wanted.
The S-400 is a national issue. Turkey has practiced its sovereign right with this preference.
The statements that “Turkey chose to buy S-400 despite the fact that it had the opportunity to buy Patriot systems in the last 10 years” do not reflect reality.
For 10 years, we did not receive sufficient and appropriate answers for our technological cooperation, timely delivery and reasonable price expectations, which we emphasized in our proposals presented to the American side. The letter we wrote to our interlocutors to resolve the problems has not yet been answered.”
Recalling that he has repeatedly stated that Turkey is ready to encounter any US technical compatibility issue for the S-400, Akar noted:
“We insisted: The S-400 defense system is used when needed against threats and dangers. If there is no intention to attack Turkey, it does not harm anyone. In some NATO countries, the S-400s can be used in the same way as the S-300 is used.
Our goal is the missile and air defense of our country and our 84 million citizens. We will use the S-400s regardless of the NATO system. Technical solutions are possible. Our proposal for a joint working group, which will include NATO, is on the table, we are ready to meet.
The imposition of certain restrictions in our country, specifically on the F-35s, due to the issue of S-400s, is not in the spirit of trust. Turkey is a powerful and strategic ally of NATO and the United States. We believe that there is job we can do together with the United States for the benefit of both countries, NATO and the region and the world,” Akar was quoted as saying by the Turkish state-run news agency “Anadolu”.
It is recalled that Turkey has been trying for at least a year now to send a US technical team to check the compatibility of the S-400 with NATO systems, but this has not been accepted by the United States.