Na­tional se­cu­rity sole rea­son be­hind pur­chase of S-400 mis­sile de­fense sys­tem

Daily Sabah (Turkey) - - Front Page -

In re­sponse to spec­u­la­tions that Turkey is buy­ing the S-400 mis­sile de­fense sys­tem from Rus­sia for po­lit­i­cal rea­sons, the De­fense Min­istry stressed that the deal was made with Moscow for noth­ing other than meet­ing the na­tion’s se­cu­rity needs

DE­FENSE Min­is­ter Nuret­tin Canikli has ruled out claims that Turkey was mov­ing away from NATO and re­it­er­ated that the pur­chase of the Rus­sian S-400 air de­fense sys­tem was not mo­ti­vated by po­lit­i­cal rea­sons rather it was taken to ad­dress Turkey’s grow­ing de­fense needs. Speak­ing to Daily Sabah Thurs­day, Canikli said: “The S-400 deal only aims at in­creas­ing Turkey’s de­fense ca­pa­bil­i­ties. It is not po­lit­i­cally mo­ti­vated.” The min­is­ter added that the govern­ment was tak­ing nec­es­sary steps to pro­tect Turkey against any threats. Re­mind­ing that Turkey ini­tially wanted to pro­cure sim­i­lar sys­tems from its al­lies, Canikli said, “We would have liked to se­cure a deal with our al­lies, within NATO’s frame­works. How­ever, they have not sup­ported our ef­forts.” As the de­mands were not met by NATO al­lies, Turkey de­cided to opt for the S-400 in­stead, call­ing it the most fa­vor­able choice, the min­is­ter added. Ankara and Moscow have re­peat­edly said that they were res­o­lute in fi­nal­iz­ing a deal as soon as pos­si­ble. On his way to As­tana on Sept. 10, Pres­i­dent Re­cep Tayyip Er­doğan said that Turkey was de­ter­mined to pro­cure the sys­tem, dis­miss­ing claims that Ankara might give up on the deal be­cause of the strong op­po­si­tion from NATO.

also con­firmed that a pri­mary de­posit for the pur­chase of the mis­sile sys­tem has al­ready been trans­ferred to Rus­sia.

Mean­while, the deal be­tween Turkey and Rus­sia was crit­i­cized by some coun­tries in­clud­ing the U.S., on the grounds that it was “in­com­pat­i­ble” with NATO sys­tems.

U.S. For­eign Min­istry spokes­woman Heather Nauert on Sept. 13 said that it was es­sen­tial for NATO mem­bers to use mil­i­tary equip­ment that is com­pat­i­ble with NATO sys­tems. Nauert added that Turkey’s pro- cure­ment of the sys­tem would be a dis­qui­et­ing in­ci­dent.

Ankara, how­ever, has re­peat­edly said that it will not in­te­grate Rus­sian sys­tems into NATO, in an ef­fort to al­lay con­cerns. It also pointed out that there were sev­eral NATO coun­tries that are al­ready us­ing non-NATO sys­tems.

Com­ment­ing on the on­go­ing de­bates over the S-400 deal, NATO Sec­re­tary-Gen­eral Jens Stoltenberg on Sept. 14 said that Turkey’s de­ci­sion was a na­tional one and un­der­scored that mem­ber states had sov­er­eign rights to make de­ci­sions re­gard­ing mil­i­tary pur­chases.

Stoltenberg added that though NATO has an in­te­grated air de­fense sys­tem, it was pos- sible for mem­bers to have un­in­te­grated, in­de­pen­dent sys­tems.

Mean­while, NATO mem­ber state of­fi­cial, France’s For­eign Min­istry spokes­women Agnes Ro­matet-Es­pagne said that the pur­chase of mil­i­tary equip­ment was a sov­er­eign choice by Turkey which does not need the com­ments of other mem­bers.

Canikli said Stoltenberg’s com­ment was of ut­most im­por­tance and also wel­comed Es­pagne’s re­marks.

“They gave rea­son­able state­ments which re­flect the re­al­ity,” Canikli said.

He un­der­lined that no coun­try has the right to com­ment on Turkey’s ef­forts to im- prove its de­fenses.

Voic­ing his crit­i­cism over the at­ti­tudes of some al­lied na­tions, the min­is­ter said: “We know that some of our al­lies pro­vide a sub­stan­tial amount of weapons to ter­ror groups, which have only caused harm to our coun­try. But, at the same time, they have re­fused to sell weapons to Turkey.”

Canikli also touched upon the veiled em­bargo, by a num­ber of Ger­man and Amer­i­can firms, on spare parts used in Turk­ish de­fense prod­ucts. He said that Ankara was in touch with re­lated min­istries in Ger­many and the U.S. and has con­tacted re­lated in­for­ma­tion about the firms and their em­bargo meth­ods.

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