- Sputnik International, 1920
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Ankara Urges West to Supply Turkey With F-35 Fighters & Patriot Systems Without Preconditions

© JOEL SAGETTwo US Air Force Lockheed Martin F-35 fighter jets fly over the beach of Houlgate, north-western France, on June 6, 2021.
Two US Air Force Lockheed Martin F-35 fighter jets fly over the beach of Houlgate, north-western France, on June 6, 2021.  - Sputnik International, 1920, 24.03.2022
Earlier, the US had imposed economic sanctions on Turkey's defence sector and refused to deliver the F-35 fighters Turkey had already paid for because of Ankara's deal with Moscow for the supply of Russian-made S-400 missile defence systems.
The West should supply Turkey with F-35 fighters and Patriot missile systems without preconditions, the head of the Communications Department of the Turkish presidential Administration, Fahrettin Altun, said. He added that any "informal proposals" would not help to repair relations.
Earlier this month, Reuters reported, citing its sources, that the US had informally discussed with Turkey the possibility of sending Russian S-400 defence systems to Ukraine to help it in fighting against the Russian army.
In response to the report, Altun wrote an op-ed for the Wall Street Journal, saying that the idea of Ankara handing over the S-400s it acquired from Russia to Ukraine is unrealistic.
"Though quite unrealistic today, this idea presents an opportunity to discuss the problems Turkey has experienced lately with the West," Altun said.
The official also emphasised that before buying S-400s from Russia, Turkey had repeatedly approached the US for the purchase of the Patriot system.
"Given that Turkey is in one of the world’s most dangerous and unstable regions, and the threats Turkey faced did not magically disappear with Washington’s rejection, Ankara had to look into alternatives...Turkey did not have the choice to buy the Patriot," Altun explained.

"Turks still remember how our allies withdrew Patriot batteries from Turkey during some of the tensest periods in Turkish-Russian relations. In light of that experience, the Turkish people no longer take seriously any informal pledge by the West to supply the Patriot. Turkey’s unlawful 'removal' from the F-35 programme over political considerations makes it hard to take seriously the metaphorical carrot of Turkey’s 'reinstatement,'" Altun concluded.

The relations between Turkey and the US became strained several years ago, after Ankara signed a contract with Moscow in 2017 for the supply of Russian-made S-400 air defence systems. Washington then suspended Turkey from its F-35 programme, although Ankara had previously paid for the delivery of the fifth generation fighter jets. The US claimed that Russian S-400s were incompatible with NATO's military hardware and would pose a threat to the bloc. Turkey refused to cancel the contract on S-400s, arguing that it has the right to strengthen its defence in the way it sees necessary.
A Turkish flag flies next to NATO logo at the Alliance headquarters in Brussels, Belgium, November 26, 2019 - Sputnik International, 1920, 11.03.2022
NATO Chief: Turkey Is Informed Alliance Expects All Members to Impose Sanctions Against Russia
This comes amid continuing attempts by the US to pressure Turkey to impose sanctions against Russia over its special military operation in Ukraine. However, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu has repeatedly said that Ankara has no intention to join international sanctions against Russia and is only ready to act as a mediator in negotiations between Moscow and Kiev.
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