Turkish MP slams US congressman's remarks on Turkey

Turkish MP slams US congressman's remarks on Turkey

ANKARA-Anadolu Agency
Turkish MP slams US congressmans remarks on Turkey

The head of the Turkish Parliament's Foreign Affairs Committee slammed remarks by his counterpart in the U.S. House of Representatives targeting Turkey's president.

"These remarks [against Recep Tayyip Erdoğan] are irrelevant with the realities and exceed the limits," said Volkan Bozkır in a statement on  July 4.

Eliot Engel is in an attitude that enforces the boundaries of diplomatic courtesy and realities, Bozkır noted.

Praising Turkey's purchase of Russian S-400 air defense systems, he underlined that the country was right to look for alternatives for its security needs.

"Like Mr. Eliot Engel, some circles in the USA, have difficulty in evaluating the situation with openness and fairness," Bozkır said.

He said that while Turkey was greatly disappointed by the manner of conduct of the U.S., a country with which Ankara had "deep-rooted relations and historical alliance."

"I would like to stress once again that we are ready to work together with our U.S. counterparts to resolve the outstanding issues," he said, citing the "constructive vision" put forward by Erdoğan and Trump at a recent G20 summit in Osaka, Japan.

During last week's G20 summit in Osaka, Japan, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said U.S. President Donald Trump told him there would be no sanctions against Turkey after it received the S-400 defense systems, expected to be delivered in July.

At the summit, Trump blamed the standoff on then-President Barack Obama's refusal to sell Patriot missiles to Turkey, and said Turkey had not been treated fairly.

In a statement on July 1, Engel said: "If Turkey gets the S-400, it shouldn't get the Joint Strike Fighter; it should be kicked out of the F-35 program; and it will face sanctions."

"If Turkey operates the S-400 and the F-35, it would place the lives of all future American and allied F-35 pilots at risk," he added.

Eliot underlined that Trump "ought to side with the men and women who fly these planes."

Bozkır underlined that Turkey had been fully transparent in its purchase of the S-400 systems.

"Unfortunately, our sincere initiatives, in particular our proposal to establish a working group with the engagement of NATO, that would assess the potential effects of the S-400 system against the F-35s, have been left unanswered," he added.

Following protracted efforts to purchase an air defense system from the U.S. with no success, Ankara decided in 2017 to purchase the Russian S-400s.

U.S. officials urged Turkey to buy U.S. Patriot missiles, arguing the Russian system would be incompatible with NATO systems and expose the F-35s to possible Russian subterfuge.

Turkey, however, emphasized the S-400 would not be integrated into NATO systems and would not pose a threat to the alliance.

Turkey has urged formation of a commission to clarify any technical issues, but the U.S. has failed to respond to this proposal.