Erdogan: Turkey could buy more Russian S-400s despite US warnings
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said that Ankara is considering buying more Russian defense systems, despite many warnings from the United States.
In an interview with US broadcaster CBS News, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Turkey would make decisions on its defense systems independently.
Speaking to correspondent Margaret Brennan in New York last week, Erdogan explained that Turkey had not been given the option to buy American-made missiles and that the US had not sent F-35 jets despite receiving a $ 1.4 billion payment.
"In the future, no one will be able to intervene regarding the type of defense systems we receive, from which country and at what level," Erdogan said. "No one can interfere in this. We are the only ones who make such decisions. ”
Turkey, a NATO member, was excluded from the F-35 program and its defense officials were sanctioned after purchasing a Russian-made S-400 defense system.
The US strongly opposes the use of Russian systems within NATO and says it poses a threat to the F-35. Turkey claims that the S-400 can be used independently without being integrated into NATO systems and therefore does not pose any risk.
Last year, the United States sanctioned Turkey for its acquisition under a 2017 law aimed at pushing Russian influence. It was the first time a law called America's Opposition through Sanctions (CAATSA) was used to penalize an American ally.
However, Erdogan has remained challenging.
"We urge Turkey at every level and opportunity not to maintain the S-400 system and to refrain from purchasing any additional Russian military equipment," a State Department spokesman said when asked about Erdogan's comments.
Before leaving New York, Erdogan told reporters that relations with President Joe Biden had not started well despite good relations with previous leaders.
"I can not honestly say that there is a healthy process in Turkish-American relations," the state-run news agency Anadolu Erdogan was quoted as saying on Thursday.
Erdogan also said Biden never raised the issue of Turkey's human rights record.