TEHRAN, Sep. 13 (Press Shia) – President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has criticized the reaction from Turkey’s NATO allies over Ankara’s recent decision to purchase S-400 missile systems from Russia, vowing to continue to take “all necessary measures” regarding national security.
“They have gone crazy because we made a deal for S-400s. What do you expect? Should we wait for you? We take care of ourselves in every security point. We are taking precautions and we will continue to do so,” Erdoğan said on Sept. 13 in a speech to ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) mayors in Ankara.
According to Hurriyet Daily, “America and Israel were always very reluctant to give their unmanned air vehicle products. And when they did give them, their repair and maintenance put us in a difficult position. Now this country [Turkey] has come to a point where it can produce its own unmanned armed air vehicles. And now they are uncomfortable with that,” he added.
Erdoğan had declared on Sept. 12 that Ankara has “signed [an agreement on] S-400s,” saying a deposit has already been paid for the systems.
As Turkey’s accord for the S-400 defense mechanism is a deal with a non-NATO supplier, the possible purchase raised concerns in the West over compatibility with the alliance’s equipment.
“We have relayed our concerns to Turkish officials regarding the potential purchase of the S-400,” Pentagon spokesman Johnny Michael told CNBC in a written statement on Sept. 12.
“Turkey is a key NATO ally and we are committed to our strong defense partnership,” Michael added.
“What matters for NATO is that the equipment Allies acquire is able to operate together. The interoperability of our armed forces is fundamental to NATO for the conduct of our operations and missions,” NATO spokesman Mark Sanders told CNBC via email.