Erdogan: ‘No backtrack’ on Russia S-400 missile deal

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said the S-400 missile defense systems issue was directly to the country’s sovereignty. (Presidential Press Service via AP)
Updated 25 June 2019

Erdogan: ‘No backtrack’ on Russia S-400 missile deal

ANKARA: President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Tuesday that NATO-member Turkey would take delivery of Russia’s S-400 missile defense system in July — a deal that has created tensions with the United States.

“The issue of S-400 is an issue directly related to our sovereignty and we will not backtrack from that,” Erdogan said in a televised speech.

“God willing, the delivery of the S-400 will start next month,” he said.

“In order to meet its security needs, Turkey ... does not need to get permission, let alone bow to pressure.”

Erdogan has vowed to use his good relations with US counterpart Donald Trump to defuse tensions when they meet on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Osaka, Japan later this week.

The US has given Turkey a deadline of July 31 to drop the purchase of the S-400 system, or face sanctions and removal from the United States’ F-35 fighter jet program.

Turkey has plans to buy 100 F-35s, and has lucrative contracts to build parts of the jet.

Relations with Washington have deteriorated over various issues, including the S-400 deal and US support for a Syrian Kurdish militia viewed as terrorists by Turkey.


Turkey’s Fatih drill ship starts operations off northeast Cyprus

Updated 32 min 18 sec ago

Turkey’s Fatih drill ship starts operations off northeast Cyprus

  • Turkey said it is operating on its own continental shelf or areas where Turkish Cypriots have rights
  • Yavuz is another Turkish drillship off the west coast of Cyprus

ANKARA: The Turkish oil-and-gas drilling ship Fatih has started its operations off the coast of northeastern Cyprus, Turkish vice president Fuat Oktay said on Friday, despite warnings from European Union for Ankara to stand down.
On Monday, the EU Foreign Affairs Council adopted a framework for restrictive measures against Turkey over its drilling activities in the eastern Mediterranean.
Turkey, a formal candidate to join the EU despite worsening ties, criticized the decision and said it would not cease drilling because it is operating on its own continental shelf or areas where Turkish Cypriots have rights.
Another Turkish drillship, Yavuz, is off the west coast of Cyprus.