Ankara urges US to supply F-35 jets, Patriot systems ‘without preconditions’
The U.S. should readmit Ankara to a joint F-35 fighter jet program and deliver Patriot missile defense systems to the country “without conditions,” Turkish Presidential Communications Director Fahrettin Altun has said.
Altun penned an op-ed in the U.S. daily Wall Street Journal in response to another opinion piece that suggested that “Turkey should send Ukraine the Russian-made S-400 missile defense systems.”
In his op-ed, headlined, “Turkey Says No Deal on S-400 for Ukraine,” Altın said that while such a deal was “quite unrealistic today, this idea presents an opportunity to discuss the problems Turkey has experienced lately with the West.”
“Turkey, which views European Union membership as a strategic objective and takes pride in its NATO membership, expects to be treated by the West as it deserves. It would take confidence-building measures, not so-called informal proposals, to repair the relationship.”
Turkey paid $1.4 billion for the fighter jets, but Washington took Ankara out of the program in 2019 because Turkey bought the Russian S-400 defense system after its efforts to acquire U.S. Patriot missiles were rebuffed.
The U.S. claimed the Russian system was a safety risk, but Turkey maintained that the S-400 would pose no threat to NATO or its armaments because it would not be integrated into the alliance’s systems.