Turkey to buy S-400s, but also ‘open to’ US Patriot offer: Erdoğan
Changing course on Turkey’s deal to purchase the S-400s is “definitely” out of the question, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan told a private broadcaster.
“Regarding the Patriot issue, if you [the U.S.] provide us good conditions, we are open to that as well. We have to work with alternatives,” Erdoğan said.
After protracted efforts to purchase air defense systems from the U.S. with no success, Ankara decided in 2017 to buy Russia’s S-400 air defense system.
Safe zone in northern Syria
Underlining Turkey’s advocacy for the establishment of a safe zone in northern Syria, Erdogan said Turkey cannot leave a region that could threaten it to anyone, and Turkey would establish a presence in such a zone.
He reiterated that the proposed safe zone must be under his country’s control, adding Turkey cannot leave this to Germany, France or the U.S.
Erdoğan also touched on comments by Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov on Kurdish forces in Syria, saying they were wrong.
“All groups related with the [illegal] PKK are terrorist organizations,” he said, adding even if they have Kurdish, French, German and Italian members.
“It is very wrong to be in efforts to introduce Turkey as an enemy of the Kurdish people because the PKK does not represent the Kurdish people,” he said.