Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is making friends and influencing people once again as he makes it clear that the US/NATO Allies purchase of Russian-built S-400 air defense systems “was not for storage,” warning whoever was listening that “this is a defense system. What are we going to do with it if not use this defense system?”
As Hurriyet reports, Turkey had been locked in talks over purchase of Patriot anti-aircraft systems for quite a long time, and the process was influenced by flip-flops in Turkish-American relations.
“Are we going to depend on the U.S. again?” the Turkish strongman continued.
“When we have been demanding from them for years, the answer that has been given to us is: The [U.S.] Congress is not allowing.”
“We are tired of this,” he stated. In the meantime, Russia has responded to Turkish request for the S-400 “with a pretty alluring offer,” Erdogan could be heard.
“They said they would even get into a joint production. And with respect to loans, they have offered us pretty good loan terms.”
Turkish military is expected to take delivery of S-400s starting from 2019. The S-400 Triumf is now the most advanced Russian anti-aircraft system, designed to engage aerodynamic targets at a range of up to 400km and ballistic missiles up to 60km away. An S-400 squadron can deal with up to 36 aerial targets simultaneously.
All of which raises the awkward question – Is Turkey still a trustworthy friend and ally?
Via Andreas Andrianopoulos via The Strategic Culture Foundation,
Not long ago, Turkey and Russia reached the brink of war when a Russian warplane was shot from the skies over Syria by a Turkish missile. A long period of escalating animosity followed culminating in an embarrassing apology that the President of Turkey directed to Vladimir Putin. Russia resumed normal relations with Turkey without forgetting the treachery that led to a situation of near conflict. The assassination of the Russian ambassador to Ankara by an Islamist policeman did not contribute to the process of normalization of relations between the two countries.
The situation now appears relatively normal with cordiality characterizing the atmosphere among the Kremlin and Ankara. Is however Turkey a trustworthy friend? To what extend can Russia build upon a relationship based solely on the disposition of one man? Is President Erdogan, on the basis of his hitherto political behaviour and diplomatic manoeuvring, to be trusted …read more