Greek use of S-300s challenge against NATO: Erdoğan
The Greek activation of its Crete-based S-300 air defense systems against the Turkish jets is a hostile act and a challenge against NATO, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has said, expressing his curiosity about how the United States will respond to the actions of Greece.
“By escalating its hostile attitude that started with violating our airspace and harassing our planes, Greece challenged not us, but essentially NATO and the allies, if it has that capability or power,” Erdoğan said in his address at the Victory Day Concert at the presidency late Aug. 30.
Erdoğan referred to the escalatory actions of the Greek military in the Aegean and eastern Mediterranean by harassing the Turkish jets conducting NATO missions. Turkish Defense Ministry announced that Greek warplanes and S-300 air defense systems locked on to the Turkish F-16s in three different incidents at the expense of risking NATO missions.
Recalling that Türkiye had freed its territories from occupying Greek forces who have been used by other prominent powers one century ago, Erdoğan said “Unfortunately, we see that the Greek politicians, who dragged their own people and country to disaster a century ago, are still insisting on the same mistake today.”
President Erdoğan recalled that Türkiye and Greece are in different leagues and the latter cannot be the former’s interlocutor in any political, economic or military way, saying “We know the true intention of those who try to waste our country’s time and energy by using Greece today, as was the case a century ago. The recent developments have demonstrated this fact to everyone in an undeniable clarity.”
Stressing that the radar of a Greek S-300 air defense system harassed the Turkish jets conducting a NATO mission in international air space, Erdoğan emphasized “Radar-locking a country’s aircraft is a hostile act. If this aircraft is conducting a NATO mission, then it means this hostility directly targets NATO with all its members.”
Greek activation of S-300 systems
Drawing attention to the inconsistent behavior of the U.S. over the Turkish deployment of S-400 air defense systems while Greece can freely use its S-300s against an allied country, Erdoğan recalled that Washington denied to deliver the F-35 jets to Türkiye because of the presence of Russian systems on Turkish territory.
“We are now curious to see how the U.S. will respond to Greece activating the S-300 systems against a NATO air force. In addition, the U.S. offered these F-35s, which they did not give to us, to Greece, and paved the way for the S-300s and F-35s to operate together,” he suggested.
The U.S. argued that the Turkish deployment of the Russian S-400 systems can create security concerns for the fifth generation stealth F-35 jetfighters and that’s why it expelled Türkiye from the project. Washington and Athens are nowadays negotiating over the latter’s procurement of F-35 warplanes although it deploys the Russian S-300 air defense systems.
US waived sanctions on India
Criticizing the U.S. for imposing sanctions against NATO ally, Türkiye, while exempting other countries, like India, from such measures, Erdoğan said, “They are not giving us the F-35s. They are reacting to the alternative defense systems we purchased. They are imposing embargoes over truly ridiculous matters.”
The President underlined that Türkiye no longer cares about all these acts against it, stressing “Frankly, we do not care about any of them. We have the capability, capacity and determination to produce sooner or later every product they deny us. We are Türkiye. We have accomplished the capability to develop every technology, build every project, and offer every service we need in line with our own vision and goals. Providing the aircrafts we demand or supporting us in any matter would only serve as a gesture of friendship towards our country,” he stated.