Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan made an abrupt statement to the United States regarding the cessation of training for Turkish pilots in the American F-35 program due to Turkey’s purchase of the Russian S-400 air defense systems.
The Turkish leader put an end to the disputes that have been going on for some time around the S-400 issue, saying: “I’m not saying Turkey will buy S-400 defense systems, it has already bought them”.
According to Erdoğan, the Turkish authorities intend to protest the decision, and will “call to account in every platform Turkey being excluded from the F-35 program for reasons without rationale or legitimacy.”
The Turkish President made these statements in the framework of a closed session of the parliamentary faction of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), which was attended by Defense Minister Hulusi Akar and AKP deputies.
During his speech, Erdoğan touched on issues such as the supply of the S-400, the crisis around the F-35 program, as well as Turkey’s exploration of hydrocarbons in the Eastern Mediterranean.
Below are the key statements of the Turkish leader:
NO ONE HAS THE RIGHT TO DEMAND A REPORT ON OUR ACTIONS ’
“At the moment we have four ships for hydrocarbon exploration and drilling activities. Previously, we did not have this. Now we own four ships, thanks to that we carry out exploration and drilling in the region, the safety of which is ensured by our naval forces. God forbid we can find it. When this happens, we intend to protect the rights of the Turkish Cypriots living in the region based on the provisions of international maritime law.
And no one can ask us why we did this and not otherwise. We will protect all rights in the exclusive economic zones that we have as a guarantor country, and will not allow anyone to violate the rights of our Cypriot brothers. ”
I want once again to openly and clearly repeat our position on this issue. I’m not saying Turkey will buy S-400 defense systems, it has already bought them. This is a resolved question. Next month, these systems will be delivered to our country. This is not offensive, but a defensive weapon system. Shouldn’t I take action to protect my country? Is this why I will ask permission from someone? Earlier we asked the United States to supply us with a similar defensive system. They refused us. Under what pretext? Congress does not approve. We began this process as early as the Obama presidency. Every time they told us that the Congress did not give the necessary permission. And we began to solve our problems in a different way.
Then came the agenda of the system S-400. Along with an acceptable price, the possibility of co-production was also discussed, after discussing the main conditions we signed a contract. Inshallah, they will be delivered to our country next month”
“WE ARE GOING TO PROTEST THE DECISION AT ALL LEVELS”
“Our doors are open to anyone who wants to cooperate with us in this matter. At the same time, we told Trump that under such conditions we are ready to purchase Patriot systems from the USA. But the American side did not respond to this proposal. Turkey is not just a customer under the F-35 program. At the same time, she is a manufacturing partner. To date, we have invested about a billion dollars in this project. And now we intend to protest, at all levels and platforms, the exclusion of a country from the F-35 program under false pretexts that have no legal justification.
I gave the necessary instructions to colleagues. They are currently negotiating with the opposite side, if necessary, at the end of the month we will meet with President Trump on the “fields” of the summit in Japan. There we will also be able to discuss these issues. ”
“ONE NIGHT WE WILL ENTER UNEXPECTEDLY …”
“Regarding this issue, we will continue to consider all options for action. Just as we broke the corridor that the terrorists tried to form on the Jarabulus-Afrin line on our border with Syria and in northern Iraq, we will destroy the terrorists east of the Euphrates. We will enter unexpectedly one night. Those who believe that Turkey can be brought to its knees by economic traps simply do not know anything about our people. We are a nation that, if necessary and for the sake of independence, is ready to sacrifice our life and property.
We will soon get rid of the economic shackles with which they are trying to entangle us. We perfectly see all these tricks aimed at creating political instability, and we will not fall into this trap. We will go this long and narrow way with dignity, without sacrificing a single step by the principles of democracy and the superiority of the will of the people, ” said Erdoğan.