Sunday, June 16, 2024

Why Turkey trusts Russia—and not the United States: In Erdogan’s words!

Turkey's president Recep Tayyip Erdogan

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has described his relations with Russian President Vladimir Putin and between the two countries in general as honest and trust-based.

“We have respect and trust in relations with Russia. And my relations with Mr. Putin are based on honesty. And all our requests concerning Tatarstan, Dagestan and these regions are answered,” he said at a meeting with the youth on Sunday, which was televised by the TRT channel.

According to the Turkish president, “there were many threats” from other countries “in connection with the purchase of [Russian] S-400 systems.” “But we have bought S-400. And now we have them,” he said.

In this context, he touched upon the topic of possible supplies of F-16 and F-35 fighter jets. “As for F-16 jets, we want to have them from you [the United States], but you don’t give them to us. You promised F-jets but broke your word. We paid some 1.4 billion US dollars but you are not giving them to us. If you don’t, it will have its price,” he said.

Turkey want to have 40 F-16 Block 70 fighter jets and kits for the modernization of the planes it already has. The issue was frozen after Ankara bought Russian S-400 air defense systems. The deal also suspended Turkey’s participation in the project for the development and production of F-35 fighter jets. Opponents of the F-16 deal with Turkey in US Congress motivate the refusal by Ankara’s resistance to allow Helsinki and Stockholm to be admitted to NATO and its relations with Moscow. Turkey, in turn, says it rejects any conditions for the implementation of the deal advanced by the US side.

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