Erdogan defends missile deal with Russian Federation

Thursday, 14 Sep, 2017

Speaking to the Turkish press, President Erdoğan said that Turkey is "obliged to take safety and security measures" for its national defense, recalling that several weapons systems that Ankara sought to purchase were not made available in the west.

A Turkish newspaper is quoting President Recep Tayyip Erdogan as saying that both Ankara and Moscow are committed to Turkey's purchase of S-400 missile defense systems from Russian Federation.

"Meanwhile, spokesman of the German Foreign Ministry Martin Schaefer stressed that Berlin does not consider the matter to be of much concern".

Erdogan said: "The process will continue through a transfer of credit from Russian Federation to us".

The deal cements a recent rapprochement with Russian Federation, despite differences over the war in Syria, and comes as Turkey's ties with the United States and the European Union have become strained. What were we supposed to do, wait for you?

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US Defense Secretary James Mattis stated earlier that the US will not impede the S-400 missiles deal, saying that it is a Turkish "sovereign decision".

Turkey faced similar worries during the Iran-Iraq War and the First and Second Gulf Wars due to the ballistic missiles possessed by those countries.

The air-defense system has a range of 250 miles, and can hit up to 80 targets at once. "A North Atlantic Treaty Organisation inter-operable missile defense system remains the best option to defend Turkey from the full range of threats in its region", Pentagon Spokesman Johnny Michael said in a statement Tuesday. As the dispute unfolded, the U.S. in 2015 withdrew its Patriot missiles from Turkey's border with Syria after a two-year deployment. Defense observers speculated that Turkey played the China card to put pressure on its allies and get better terms for buying a NATO-compatible SAM system, such as the US-made Patriot PAC-3.

The S-400 is Russia's next-generation, most advanced long-range anti-aircraft missile system.