President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey has signed a deal with Russia to buy S-400 missile defense systems in its first major weapons purchase from Moscow, Turkish newspapers Tuesday.
According to Turkey’s Hurriyet daily, voiced displeasure with unnamed Western partners who were “seeking enormous amounts of money” for military drones.
Signatures have been made for the purchase of S-400s from Russia. A deposit has also been paid as far as I know,” Erdogan said in comments published in the Hurriyet daily and other newspapers.
“(Russian President Vladimir Putin) and myself are determined on this issue,” he told journalists.
The Economic Times report that,the purchase of the missile systems from a non-NATO supplier will raise concerns in the West over their compatibility with the alliance’s equipment.
The Pentagon has already sounded alarm, saying bluntly that “generally it’s a good idea” for NATO allies to buy inter-operable equipment.
Erdogan said Turkey was free to make military acquisitions based on its defence needs.
“We make the decisions about our own independence ourselves, we are obliged to take safety and secure.
BBC report that, In 2015 Turkey had urged its Nato allies to keep those batteries positioned on the Turkish-Syrian border.
Turkey is also angry with the US for not extraditing Fethullah Gulen, the Muslim cleric who, according to Mr Erdogan, organised the July 2016 coup plot by rogue Turkish officers. Mr Gulen denied any involvement.
Moscow decision has both practical and political significance. Inevitably it will be seen as a further sign of Ankara’s gradual estrangement from its Western allies.
Turkey has been in the market for new air defences for some time. Four years ago it flirted with the idea of buying a Chinese system. But after pressure from its Nato allies it backed away from the deal.
Choosing a Russian system which will be hard, if not impossible, to integrate into Nato’s wider air defence system makes little strategic sense.
It was not that long ago – November 2015 – that Turkey actually shot down a Russian warplane that it said had intruded into its airspace from Syria.
But since then much has changed. On regional policy Ankara and Moscow are more closely aligned. And Turkey’s internal policies are seen as increasingly repressive by many of its allies.
In Nato generally the only Russian equipment used is legacy hardware in the forces of former Warsaw Pact countries. Greece also has an earlier Russian air defence system that was first sold to Cyprus. “BBc report”