Turkey: ‘We don’t need US permission to buy more S-400s’

ANKARA, (BM) – Turkish MP Murat Baibatur told his country’s parliament that Turkey is negotiating the purchase and delivery of the second batch of Russian S-400 anti-aircraft missile systems. “Turkey is an independent state and does not want permission from the United States or others,” he said. Murat Baibatur is a member of the Turkish Parliamentary Committee on Security and Defense.

Baibatur stressed that Turkey would not “back down” from the decision “about the Russian air defense system.” He does not see the US position as “correct and tactful,” using the “language of threats” against a NATO member “whose army is considered the second largest.” Baibatur said that “every state has to consider its interests and the interests of its citizens.” According to the Turkish politician, the United States’ dialogue on the S-400 issue will continue, but Ankara will act following its interests.

We remind you that the United States again asked Turkey to give up the Russian S-400. US Ambassador to Turkey David Sutherfield said the only way Ankara could resolve its differences with Washington was to abandon Russia’s air defense systems.

“Burnt bridges”

Ever since Turkey announced that it was negotiating with Russia for the supply of S-400 anti-aircraft missile systems, relations between the United States and Turkey have deteriorated, not only in defense and security.

The United States has repeatedly threatened Turkey with dropping the country out of a program to develop a fifth-generation F-35 fighter jet. He did so last year after Ankara flatly refused to abandon the “Russian deal.”

These events put the Turkish Air Force in a crisis with an unknown future. Currently, the most modern fighter is the F-16, and a higher-class fighter jet is not expected to appear soon to meet Turkish requirements.

Turkey’s hope is a “miracle” to catch up with its next-generation TAI TF-X fighter. However, the economic situation and the Turkish lira’s collapse have cut the budget for 2021, and its fate for the coming years is still unknown.

Russia hopes to successfully “wedge” between the bad Turkish-American relations and offers a solution to Turkey by offering its Su-57. The chances of this happening are slim, but so were the circumstances of the S-400 settling on Turkish soil.

“Patriots are expensive”

The US Embassy in Ankara and the US State Department have repeatedly offered Turkey to buy their Patriot anti-aircraft missile systems. At least such statements have been made in the last 18 months by several overseas politicians.

Ankara has rejected them all. The reason is the high price they have asked the United States for their missile systems. But there is a second reason in the military world – the United States’ refusal to give Turkey access to technology. Ankara has been trying for years and, to some extent, successfully developing its weapons systems, but the anti-aircraft artillery is not in the power of the Turks for now.

However, this is not the case with Russia. Moscow has repeatedly given a clear signal to Ankara that it is ready to discuss the possibility of the two countries jointly building S-500 anti-aircraft missile systems – the next generation of air defense, considered by many Western experts the best done.

Even if Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan considered buying an American Patriot, events in Saudi Arabia and the attacked Armaco oil refinery have dissuaded him. Then, the plant was attacked by Iranian drones, and Patriot failed to protect the refinery.

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