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POLITICS > Turkey defends choice of Chinese missiles

ANKARA - Agence France-Presse

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The US Patriot air defense system, which is seen in the photo, is one of the systems competing for Turkey’s long-range anti-missile and air defense systems. DHA photo

The US Patriot air defense system, which is seen in the photo, is one of the systems competing for Turkey’s long-range anti-missile and air defense systems. DHA photo

Turkey on Wednesday defended its decision to acquire its first long-range anti-missile system from China, in spite of protests from its ally Washington.

"The Chinese gave us the best price," Defense Minister İsmet Yılmaz told Vatan newspaper, explaining that the system's Chinese manufacturer had agreed to a co-production deal with Turkey.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Levent Gümrükçü said talks were to begin with the Chinese company, but made it clear that the selection process was still ongoing. "The process has not yet been finalized," he said. In an official statement last week, Turkey said it has "decided to begin talks with the China Precision Machinery Export-Import Corp (CPMIEC) company of the People's Republic of China for the joint production of the systems and its missiles in Turkey".
 
The CPMIEC beat out competition from a US partnership of Raytheon and Lockheed Martin, Russia's Rosoboronexport, and the Italian-French consortium Eurosamrs in the tender, worth a reported $4 billion (3 million euro).
 
The United States has reacted with alarm to news that Ankara has chosen the Chinese firm, slapped with US sanctions for delivering arms to Iran and Syria, to build the air defence and anti-missile system.
 
"We had asked for joint production and a technology transfer," the Turkish minister said. "If other countries cannot guarantee us that, then we will turn to ones that can." NATO member Turkey is a key regional ally to the United States, and currently has US-built Patriot missile systems deployed on its border to deter incoming attacks from Syria.

Turkey wants to build its own long-range air defense and anti-missile architecture to counter both enemy aircraft and missiles.
 
NATO has also raised concerns over possible compatibility issues between the Chinese-made system and others used within the alliance.
 
Yılmaz dismissed its concerns, saying: "There is no problem on that front."

October/02/2013

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READER COMMENTS

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Eric Martin

10/5/2013 3:13:06 AM

@ilker - Well Said. Thessolonian is worried that these are going to be placed on Cyprus and near the annoying greek islands that keep radar locking our aircraft.

ilker avni

10/4/2013 7:47:14 AM

How very touching Greeks concerned about Turks security needs,Thessalonian i am moved.

ilker avni

10/4/2013 7:30:14 AM

Its strange that outsiders are so concerned about turkeys security on the one side we have greeks offering turks advice which systems are better and so on, i am sure all turks are touched by they concern for our welfare.I am truely moved, Turks true frend is Turks.

Eric Martin

10/3/2013 10:52:42 PM

@Brit in Turkey - Wrong. The Chinese have been at it longer. Underhanded comment by you. Our gov had no interest in making things before AKP.

george f

10/3/2013 9:57:25 PM

Greeks have operated Russian S-300 and large number of TOR missiles for years without the US and NATO complaining. It is only a problem when Turks want to do the same thing. talk about double standards.

ilker avni

10/3/2013 5:36:02 PM

Buying chinese missiles system will stop israels unopposed domination of the skies over the med and its invasion of turkeys airspace which it carried out a few years ago to bomb syria while turkey acted the peace maker between syria and israel,it will allso stop israels blocking of arms sales to turkey from america,which weakens turkeys military.American general once said Israel is the cause why america is loseing frends all over the world.America maybe lose ing Turkey,this maybe the begining.

Brit in Turkey

10/3/2013 11:46:38 AM

Eric Martin: I do believe you do not understand the complexity of these things.

Eric Martin

10/3/2013 12:37:15 AM

Do we really need Chinese help to build a stupid rocket? It would be nice if the government or article would explain what we lack experience at. So we can't make a radar? I'm afraid our government is afraid to take a chance at building something without foreign help.

Thessalonian

10/3/2013 12:01:20 AM

@ilker avni. Unfortunately I cannot answer your question as I do not live there and only read the online papers occasionally. Anyhow, I really think Turkey made the wrong choice, fortunately rumours have it that it hasn't been finalized. Do read Mr. Bekdil's latest article. The last paragraph does paint a strange picture. Regards

ilker avni

10/2/2013 6:38:27 PM

@Thessalonia Remind us what systems you greeks bought? Russian s-300 i belive which the chinese system is based on the russian s-400 version only cheaper,i havnt seen the israelies or the americans rushing to bomb Iran who has the same versions, only they claim its manufactured by Iran. Turks true frend is Turks.
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