Recai Berber, member of Turkish parliament from the ruling Justice and Development Party and chairman of the parliamentary Turkish-Russian Friendship Group, has recalled that Ankara decided to purchase the S-400 systems after holding talks and reaching relevant agreements with all its allies.
"Consequently, we know that this decision cannot contradict our membership in NATO and allied relations with the United States. Within the framework of the agreement on S-400, it is also a matter of technology exchange between Russia and Turkey. So NATO allies opposing it is out of the question," Berber said.
According to him, the State Department’s statement was made without any consultations given that positions on the matter "have already been clearly defined by Turkey and NATO."
"We have no doubt about the purchase of the S-400. Turkey adopted a relevant decision and clinched an agreement to further develop the entire subsequent process. Such a statement by the US State Department does not oblige Turkey to anything," Berber emphasized.
He was echoed by Beyazıt Karatas, retired Major-General of the Turkish Air Force, who specifically cited Ankara's current "sharp anti-American stance."
"The US has repeatedly put obstacles to Turkey's attempts to purchase long-range air defense systems. However, taking a decision on the S-400, due to be used separately from NATO to provide Turkey's national security, Ankara made a meticulous long-term assessment of the situation," Karatas noted.
He recalled that the US continues to exert all sorts of pressure on Turkey in order to prevent it from purchasing the S-400 systems. According to him, the main question is "what steps the US will take regarding Ankara's purchase of these systems from Russia."
Citing "the political and military situation", Karatas suggested that the US will be unable to keep Turkey from buying the S-400.
"The US has lost support in Turkey, both politically and socially, as 85 percent of the Turkish public supports the anti-American and anti-NATO stance. I believe that amid the ongoing Afrin military operation and Ankara's further actions in Syria as part of anti-terror fight, Turkey will not change its decision on the purchase of the S-400," he concluded.
In September 2017, Moscow and Ankara clinched a deal on the delivery of the S-400 surface-to-air missile systems to Turkey. Later that month, Russian presidential aide Vladimir Kozhin confirmed Turkey's up-front payment for the S-400s, saying that the delivery is scheduled for 2019.
The agreement caused uproar in Washington, prompting Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to underscore that his country was free to make independent decisions about its national security.
The views and opinions expressed by Recai Berber and Beyazıt Karatas are those of the speakers and do not necessarily reflect Sputnik's position.
The views and opinions expressed in the article do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.