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    Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, left, and US President Donald Trump shake hands prior to their meeting in New York, Sept. 21, 2017

    Possible US Sanctions Against Turkey May Lead to NATO Split – Turkish MP

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    Commenting on the possibility of Washington slapping sanctions on Turkey over Ankara's purchase of Russia's S-400 missile systems, Turkish lawmaker Berat Conkar told Sputnik that the move would prompt a "relevant response" from the Turkish government.

    Berat Conkar, an MP from the ruling Turkish Justice and Development Party, said that first of all, the White House's potential anti-Turkish sanctions would not be in line with the understanding of allied relations between NATO members and secondly, would negatively affect the relations between Ankara and Washington, which are currently going through a tough time. 

    "I regard all this as an absolutely meaningless initiative, Conkar pointed out.

    READ MORE: 'Clear Answer': Turkey on Whether US Sanctions Will Break S-400 Deal With Russia

    He warned that if the situation eventually leads to the imposition of sanctions, "the US, being Ankara's NATO ally, will not be able to give Turkey any convincing arguments in favor of this step."

    "It will inevitably lead to a split within NATO and emergence of tension out of thin air in various areas. … The imposition of sanctions against Turkey will be an erroneous and thoughtless step," Conkar stressed.

    According to him, Turkey is ready to consider "alternative options" if Washington finally introduces sanctions against Ankara.

    READ MORE: 'Logical Next Step': Why Turkey May Need Russian Pantsir in Addition to S-400

    "Such an extreme step as the anti-Turkish sanctions will mean very serious losses for the United States. We are experiencing a period in which players must jointly ensure the security of our region and the world as a whole. Any irresponsible steps taken along this path will not be left without a relevant response," Conkar concluded.

    Earlier this week, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said that Ankara would retaliate against the US if Washington blocks the supply of the F-35 fighters to Ankara.

    He added that a proposal by US lawmakers to temporarily stop weapons sales, including the F-35 jets, to Turkey was wrong, illogical and not fitting of the alliance between the NATO allies.

    READ MORE: US Senators Want to Block Sale of F-35 Fighters to Turkey — Reports

    Ankara has committed to buying 116 F-35A fighter jets under the US-led multinational Joint Strike Fighter program.

    Last month, the assistant secretary of state, Wess Mitchell, told the House Foreign Affairs Committee that Turkey could face US sanctions if it goes ahead with plans to purchase S-400 missile defense systems from Russia and that it could also affect Ankara’s participation in the F-35 program.

    In December 2017, Russia and Turkey signed a loan agreement for the supply of the S-400 systems to Ankara. According to a statement by a Turkish defense industry secretariat, Ankara acquired two batteries for this system, which will be operated and serviced by the Turkish military personnel.

    The views and opinions expressed by Berat Conkar are those of the analyst and do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.

    Related:

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    US Sanctions Unlikely to Affect Russia-India Talks on S-400 Missile Deliveries
    Turkey to Use Russia's S-400 Air Defense System to Protect Akkuyu NPP – Academic
    Tags:
    tension, initiative, split, options, relations, sanctions, S-400, F-35, NATO, Israel, United States
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