Turkey not moving away from NATO by buying S-400s: Akar
Turkey is not moving away from NATO by purchasing Russian S-400 missiles, according to Turkey's defense minister.
"Turkey fulfills all NATO requirements. We're not moving away from NATO by purchasing S-400 missiles. This is a supply issue," Hulusi Akar told a military graduation ceremony in the capital Ankara on June 21.
“We strongly reject linking this matter with the [U.S.] F-35. We're partners with nine countries on the F-35 project,” he added.
Turkey expects its allies, especially the U.S., to behave with common sense and evaluate the issues objectively, he said.
Tensions between the U.S. and Turkey have simmered over Ankara's purchase of Russian S-400 defense systems.
Washington claims the purchase will jeopardize Turkey's role in the F-35 fighter jet program and has threatened sanctions.
Turkey has said there is no conflict between the S-400 and the F-35 and has called for a working group to clarify the issue.
'They got punishment that they deserved'
Speaking on the heavy sentences handed down this week to ex-officers who took part in the 2016 defeated coup, Akar hailed the verdicts.
"These traitors [who infiltrated the General Staff] got the punishment that they deserved from the Turkish justice."
Seventeen top putschists on Thursday got 141 aggravated life sentences each for their involvement in the 2016 defeated coup in Turkey.
FETÖ and its U.S.-based leader Fetullah Gulen orchestrated the defeated coup of July 15, 2016, which left 251 people killed and nearly 2,200 injured.
Turkey also accuses FETÖ of being behind a long-running campaign to overthrow the state through the infiltration of Turkish institutions, particularly the military, police, and judiciary.