07:01 GMT25 October 2020
Listen Live
    Military & Intelligence
    Get short URL

    The allegation was made by American lawmakers, who used it to partially justify a call to introduce sanctions against Turkey over the acquisition of the air defence systems from Russia.

    Turkish Ambassador to the US Serdar Kilic has dismissed allegations that Ankara used the S-400 air defence systems bought from Russia in order to detect Greek F-16s in the Mediterranean Sea as they were returning from drills taking place in France, Italy, and Cyprus at the end of August 2020.

    "That is out of the question. Even if [the S-400s] were tested, we, as a member of NATO, would coordinate such action through the alliance's military channels", Kilic said, while giving a speech at a conference organised by the non-profit organisation World Affairs Council.

    The envoy once again reminded that Turkey has the right to self-defence and hence had the right to buy air defence systems from Russia, after Washington stalled the sale of Patriots for over three years. Kilic added that Turkey's security concerns were linked to the spread of what he called "mass destruction weapons", without delving into any details.

    Kilic's statements come in the wake of claims made by two US Senators, Democrat Chris Van Hollen and Republican James Lankford, who urged the US Department of State to introduce sanctions against Turkey over the planned tests of the S-400 systems purchased from Moscow. They expressed concern over the "reports" that Turkey used the air defence systems to detect and track US-made F-16s on two occasions, including the Greek Air Force flights at the end of August.

    The lawmakers also claim Turkey tested S-400 radars on its own F-16s as they flew over Ankara in 2019, without specifying the date. Van Hollen and Lankford alleged that due to these tests, Russia will be able to monitor the movements of NATO military forces, apparently referring to earlier unsubstantiated allegations by the American authorities. The White House repeatedly tried to dissuade Ankara from buying the S-400s, by claiming they will be incompatible with NATO's defence grid and would allegedly enable Moscow to find out weaknesses in the NATO aircraft. Both Russia and Turkey denied the claim that Moscow could spy on NATO via these air defence systems.


    Greek Prime Minister Says Change of Hagia Sophia Status Will Affect Relations With Turkey
    Senators Urge US to Sanction Turkey Amid Reports Ankara Activated S-400 to Detect F-16s
    Turkey Releases Footage of F-16 Jets Scrambled to Intercept Greek Fighters
    'Major Obstacle': US 'Deeply Concerned' Over Reports of Turkey Potentially Testing S-400s
    Purported Video of Turkey Redeploying S-400s to Black Sea Coast for Drills Emerges Online
    Greek Foreign Ministry Slams Turkey for Extending Seismic Survey in Disputed Area
    allegations, F-16, S-400 Triumph, Turkey, United States
    Community standardsDiscussion