S-400 aims to contribute to peace, Erdoğan says
Vahap Munyar - ISTANBUL
“We’re not getting ready for war by purchasing the S-400s. We are trying to guarantee peace and our national security. This is the aim of all our other initiatives to improve our defense industry,” he told a group of journalists.
The procurement of the S-400 systems is a “necessity,” he said, adding that the deployment of the first batch of the systems will be completed by the end of the year and total deployment will finalize until April 2020.
At the briefing, an introduction film on the S-400 systems was screened. “I believe that our nation will receive accurate and clear information on the developments and so they will make their decisions well on such issues,” he said.
For a long time, “Turkey has not demonstrated a powerful unity this much on a national issue with all people from society and with all institutions,” he said.
Recalling several challenges that the country has faced throughout the history, the president said: “Despite the political and military pacts, we have established with the Western alliance, it is a fact that we see the biggest threats from them.”
These threats were in terms of politics, cultural and economic, he added.
“Even the fact that we had been advanced garrisons against the Soviet Union for a long time during the Cold War, this did not protect us from these threats,” Erdoğan stated, noting that Greece and Greek Cypriots had posed threats against Turkey.
Despite praising Turkey for its efforts to stabilize the region, some countries are also trying to punish the country, he said.
Elaborating on Operation Claw-2 into northern Iraq, Erdoğan said the Turkish military aims to “clear the area entirely of terrorists.” “I believe that at the end of this process, there will no longer be a source of threat called Qandil [Mountains] They tried to build Sinjar, an alternative to Qandil. And it’s cleared right now,” he said, referring to the headquarters of the illegal PKK in the Qandil Mountains of northern Iraq and Sinjar Mountains in Iraq’s northwest.
Ankara says the PKK tried to build up a presence in the Sinjar region after a power void that occurred in the war against ISIL in Iraq.
Following the military incursion into northern Iraq, a “terror corridor” into eastern Euphrates River will be blocked, Erdoğan stated.
Another development in the region that recently triggered Turkey’s security sensitivities is the events in the eastern Mediterranean, he said.
“We are taking concrete steps against the efforts of an understating that ignores the rights and interests of Turkey and Turkish Cypriots in the eastern Mediterranean,” he said.