Defying US threats, Turkey vows to deploy Russian air-defence system
Earlier Wednesday, Erdogan’s foreign minister, Mevlut Cavusoglu, warned that if the US carries through on its threats to punish Turkey for exercising its sovereign right as a NATO state to choose its own weapons and weapon-systems, Ankara could buy a second S-400 air-defence system from Russia.
Referring to Washington’s offer to sell Turkey Patriot missiles, but only if it abandons the $2.5 billion S-400 deal, Cavusoglu told Turkey’s NTV, “If they don’t sell the Patriots, we could buy a second S-400 system or another one from someone else.” He added that Turkey could also purchase Russian fighter jets, if Washington cancels its order to buy the US-made F-35 stealth fighter.
During his visit to Washington for last week’s NATO foreign ministers meeting, Cavusoglu insisted that Turkey remains committed to the US-led war alliance and voiced support for NATO’s plans to counter Russian “aggression,” including by mounting a provocative naval exercise in the Kerch Strait, the passageway between Crimea and the Russian mainland that separates the Black and Azov Seas.
Like the Kurdish nationalist HDP, which backed its candidates in the March 31st elections in Istanbul, Ankara, and the other major cities of western Turkey, the CHP is distinguished from the AKP principally by its even more pronounced orientation to US imperialism, NATO, and the European Union.