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POLITICS > Turkish PM rebukes NATO over China missile deal criticism

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DAILY NEWS photo / Selahattin Sönmez

DAILY NEWS photo / Selahattin Sönmez

Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan rebuffed intensified international criticism over Turkey’s choice to agree a missile defense deal with China, a day after NATO declared that it wanted a say in the decision-making process.

“Nobody has the right to overshadow our understanding of independence,” Erdoğan said Oct. 23 before departing for Kosovo.

The prime minister’s statement came a day after NATO Chief Anders Fogh Rasmussen’s remarks expressed the hope that NATO’s reaction would be taken into account before Turkey makes its final decision over the long-range anti-missile system.

Rasmussen stressed that NATO was completely aware that deciding which equipment to purchase is a national decision, but also stressed Turkey’s international commitments. “It’s of utmost importance that the system that a nation plans to acquire can work and operate together with similar systems in other Allied nations,” he said.

However, ignoring NATO’s stance on the issue, Erdoğan said there was no problem with the deal in terms of Turkey’s national preferences.

President Abdullah Gül also said Oct. 23 that Turkey gave utmost importance to its relations with allies, but also it was “natural to consider national interests in such decisions.”

“There are many technical issues here, they were all calculated and this result came out,” Gül told reporters in Ankara. “The missiles to be bought and their integration are technical issues. No one should misinterpret it. Besides, there are similar applications in other NATO member states.”

Erdoğan said Turkey and China had already conducted an exercise with NATO’s knowledge and everything is proceeding by the book, adding that many points, including the operational capabilities of the missiles, the price and the option of joint production, had been taken into consideration when making the decision.

“The joint production clause is rated highly by us. All offers [in defense tenders] are studied on a points system, and I, my Chief of General staff and my Defense Minister look at them, we are briefed and then make a decision,” he said.

The decisions are mostly about authorizing the Undersecretariat for Defense Industries (SSM) for talks, the prime minister added.

“We tell the undersecretariat to start negotiations on certain conditions, and then we make the final decision based on the talks. Currently the Chinese offer has the highest points. Undersecretariat officials and China are currently working on it,” Erdoğan said, adding that comments by NATO or any country would not have effect on the decision.

“Many NATO member states have Russian weapons in their inventories. If NATO is so sensitive about the issue it would remove the weapons from Russia in NATO’s own inventory,” he said.

The Turkish government’s decision to start negotiations with a Chinese firm for the co-production of the $3.4 billion missile defense system has triggered serious concerns from NATO and among member countries, particularly the United States. The fact that the Chinese company, China Precision Machinery Import and Export Corp’s (CPMIEC), is under U.S. sanctions also complicates the situation.

*An earlier version of this article misquoted the prime minister. Hürriyet Daily News regrets the error.

October/23/2013

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Sanane Banane

10/25/2013 7:05:44 AM

@Thessalonian, dont worry, mate. Turks have awoken and wont let the recent developments go down the drain easily. You, a greek, will of course sound negative, so your opinion is biased, thus dismissed. I am reading HDN for years, it only made me laugh when i read people`s ignorant posts here. Turkey is developing in many fields, no one can deny that. keep selectively reading what you want to read.

Thessalonian

10/24/2013 7:01:39 PM

@Sanane Banane. Hope that huge chip on the shoulder is not too heavy... The good news, it should eventually fall off. Just keep reading HDN. Regards

Thessalonian

10/24/2013 6:57:35 PM

@Robin Misaki. Well put indeed! Regards

Murun Buchstansangur

10/24/2013 5:04:43 PM

@KıbrıslıTürk. Hahaha. The article doesn't mention Hitler, Can doesn't mention Hitler, you do. Then realizing your written Freudian slip, you try and backtrack. All in the same post! Brilliant!

Sanane Banane

10/24/2013 2:19:09 PM

Because of communism we turned west and only bought western stuff, our export was mostly EU based, our vision was aimed at the EU. Yet, the EU treated us as 2nd rate, proof = decades of waiting and being kept out while insignificant were allowed to join the EU. The west wants us to buy their stuff only and prevent us from having a global vision. Why? a Turkey with a global vision is a strongTurkey

Sanane Banane

10/24/2013 2:14:44 PM

where was the nato and us when greece bought s-300 from Russia? i didnt hear them barking then. like the EU, the US does not want Turkey or any muslim country to get too strong and independant. Turkey's domestic military progress is still in its infancy and there is still a long way to go, but the start is there and there are many projects. anyone can do some research about this subject.

kibrisli TURK

10/24/2013 11:39:18 AM

@Can, true turk you are not with that attitude...did all germans leave germany when Hitler was in town? & No RTE is in NO WAY a Hitler!!! He is a born leader with amazing vision & intelligence which the world cannot digest...to all the 'democrat clerics' here...where were you when democratic values abandoned the US in its demolition of IRAQ, Afghanistan & others...or it only applies to some? @Frank - kind of how the US hates China & China hates US, but still American investment in China is?!

Georgios Milopoulos

10/24/2013 11:22:04 AM

Tekion, I fully agree with you and my post was just to express by opinion using a joke.Thats all

Mork

10/24/2013 10:52:24 AM

Last night I had a dream. Turkey has now procured it's own missile defense system the Americans and other NATO allies should now remove all the patriot Batteries and radar systems from Turkish soil. As Turkeys Eastern/Southeastern boarders are now secure. The Chinese can send completed systems as part of a loan until Turkish built ones are available. Please note NATO can only leave when we say

Brit in Turkey

10/24/2013 10:17:54 AM

Robin Misaki: I like it!
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