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  • Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan attends a meeting with China's President Xi Jinping at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, China, July 2, 2019.

    Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan attends a meeting with China's President Xi Jinping at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, China, July 2, 2019. | Photo: Reuters

Published 6 August 2019
Opinion

“Turkey made a business decision for its security and what pushed Turkey to do this was the ucompromising stance of its allies. Trump’s statement at the G20 that Turkey was treated unfairly is the confirmation of this fact at the highest level."

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan stated on Tuesday that he believes his U.S. counterpart Donald Trump will not allow Turkey's S-400 deal with Russia to harm Washington's relationship with Ankara.

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Part of Washington's concern with Turkey's acquisition of the S-400 is the latter's membership in NATO and the threat posed by the missile system towards the new F-35 jets. 

“There is no concrete evidence showing the S-400s will harm the F-35s or NATO, nobody should deceive each other. Many NATO member states have purchased from Russia. We don’t see this being turned into a crisis,” Erdogan said.

“Turkey made a business decision for its security and what pushed Turkey to do this was the ucompromising stance of its allies. Trump’s statement at the G20 that Turkey was treated unfairly is the confirmation of this fact at the highest level,” he continued. “I believe Trump won’t allow Turkish-U.S. relations to become captive of the S-400 issue.”

The Russian Federation made their first S-400 delivery to Turkey last month. A second shipment is scheduled to be delivered by Russia next year. 

This move prompted Washington to begin formally removing Ankara from an F-35 program in which Turkey was both customer and producer. Washington eventually removed Ankara from the program in late July, prompting the Turkish government to issue a strong condemnation of the U.S. administration. 

Washington warned that Turkey will face U.S. sanctions over the S-400s, but Ankara has so far dismissed the warnings and instead put its hopes on sympathetic remarks from Trump at a G20 summit in June. Trump however has not ruled out sanctions.

Speaking to Turkish ambassadors in Ankara, Erdogan said it was wrong to question Turkey’s commitment to NATO over the Russian deal.

Ties between Ankara and Washington have been strained over a host of issues, including conflicting strategies in Syria, but the dispute over the Russian systems has brought the NATO allies to the brink of one of the biggest ruptures in ties.

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