US’ sanctions will strengthen Turkish defense industry

US’ sanctions will strengthen Turkish defense industry

The US Treasury Department on Monday imposed sanctions which are part of Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA) on Turkey over its purchase of the Russian S-400 missile defense system.

The sanctions targeted Turkey’s Presidency of Defense Industries (SSB), its head Ismail Demir and three other officials.

US State Secretary Mike Pompeo said in a statement SSB knowingly engaged in a significant transaction with Rosoboronexport, Russia’s main arms export entity, by procuring the S-400 surface-to-air missile system.

“The sanctions include a ban on all US export licenses and authorizations to SSB and an asset freeze and visa restrictions on Dr. Ismail Demir, SSB’s president, and other SSB officers,” he added.

Pompeo urged Ankara to resolve the S-400 problem immediately in coordination with Washington: “Turkey is a valued Ally and an important regional security partner for the United States, and we seek to continue our decades-long history of productive defense-sector cooperation by removing the obstacle of Turkey’s S-400 possession as soon as possible.”


Ankara directly rejected the US sanctions on the country over its missile defense purchases with the statement of the Foreign Ministry:

“We condemn and reject the decision to impose unilateral sanctions against Turkey as announced today by the US in the context of Turkey’s acquisition of S-400 air defense systems.”

The ministry underlined, “Turkey will take the necessary steps against this decision, which will negatively affect our relations and will retaliate in a manner and timing it deems appropriate. Turkey will never refrain from taking the necessary measures to safeguard its national security.”

It urged the US to reconsider its unjust sanctions decision and avoid making a mistake:

“With this understanding, we urge the U.S. to reconsider this unfair decision as announced today and to rectify this grave mistake as soon as possible, while emphasizing once again that Turkey stands ready to address this issue through dialogue and diplomacy in conformity with the spirit of alliance.”


Ismail Demir, Head of Turkey’s Defense Industries Presidency (SSB) who has just been sanctioned by the US said on Monday, Turkey is determined to achieve a fully independent defense industry under the leadership of its President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

He tweeted after the US Treasury announced it is imposing sanctions: “No decision taken abroad towards myself or our institution will change the stance of me or my team”.

“The sanctions will not be able to hinder the Turkish defense industry in any way,” he stressed.


The US decision to impose sanctions on Turkey over its purchase of Russian S-400 missile defense is a typical show of American arrogance and lawlessness, told Foreign Minister of Russia Sergey Lavrov on Monday.

“Of course, it’s yet another manifestation of an arrogant attitude toward international law and the use of illegitimate unilateral forcible measures the US has used left and right for many years, even decades,” he said.

We talked the US sanctions with former Director of Turkish General Staff Intelligence Department, retired Lt. General Ismail Hakkı Pekin and Admiral Cihat Yaycı.


“S-400 problem is very pointless” said Ret. Lt. Gen. Ismail Hakkı Pekin and he underlined the real reasons of the sanctions:

“There are political and economic reasons why the US is making this a problem.

The aim is keeping Turkey within NATO and prevent setting an example for other NATO’ countries. US view Russia as a threat and Turkey is a member of NATO. So Turkey’s acquisition of S-400 air defense systems from Russia- also not a tactical weapon, an effective radar weapon- damaged the reputation of the USA. On the other hand, Turkey can open the way to other countries for arms purchases from outside the NATO members. It can be an example for other countries. “

Pekin also argued the economic reasons of the US sanctions:

“USA uses other countries as market, arms market. When you buy the gun, it doesn’t end there. There is engineering work every year and you have to pay an annual budget for all of them. Upgrade should be done after a certain period. Also it needs modernization after a while. Ten years later you should change broken ones with the new ones. So not only the weapon you bought, but also this cycle enters into the inventory. As a result, it is not only the cost of weapons, but also 10 times that cost. And US doesn’t want to lose this market to Russia. It doesn’t want to make a technology transfer due to the same reason. Because it tries to gain a political control over this technology. It can lose this control with the S-400 missile system.”


Pekin remarked once more the reason of the sanction is not technical but political and economic. Because the US claims the system could be used by Russia to covertly obtain classified details on the jet and is incompatible with NATO systems. However Turkey counters that the S-400 would not be integrated into NATO systems and would not pose a threat to the alliance, and has proposed a working group to examine the issue.

“The technical proposals of Turkey were not accepted as the real reason is different” he said and added that the important thing is the stance of Turkey:

“Eurasia becomes the center of the economy, trade and technology. Turkey should calculate this realty and make its decision. US will always stipulate to Turkey in the relations same as the Cold War years; East Mediterranean, Libya etc. We will see the choice and place of Turkey under the S400 discussions. But Turkey can prefer regional agreements against the sanctions.”


Admiral Cihat Yaycı emphasized that the sanctions would strengthen Turkey:

“These sanctions have the characteristic of an embargo. Every embargo made the Turkish Nation stronger. It has always developed and created a propellant rocket effect in the Turkish defense industry. The Turkish defense industry is strong. As always, the stock levels of the Turkish Armed Forces are sufficient. The sanctions and embargoes are an opportunity for us to develop our national defense industry. The Turkish defense industry will successfully reach advanced points. Turkey will exactly take lessons from this situation and increase its alliance options.”

Elif İlhamoğlu

Elif İlhamoğlu is political scientist and  journalist (Turkey). She is studying for PHD on the political science and international relations department at Istanbul University. She visited Middle East countries, Syria, Lebanon, Iran several times and did interviews with the leaders as Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Hilal al-Hilal Secretary General of the Syrian Ba'ath Party.

One response to “US’ sanctions will strengthen Turkish defense industry”

  1. Mustafa Ahkemoğlu says:

    Faydalı bilgiler.Teşekkür ederim.

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May 2024