Turkey dusts off worries over Russian defense deal, calls it a security measure
Source :NewsBharati Date :14-Sep-2017
Ankara, September 14: Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has dismissed concerns within NATO over his country’s decision to purchase Russian-made missile defense systems. He said that Ankara would continue to security measures by itself.
By supporting Qatar, Turkey has anguished its allies in recent months, also the arrest of German journalists on suspects of ‘terrorists’ has blurred the lines. In a statement, Turkey said that it opted for S-400 because Western companies had offered no “financially effective” alternative.
Western firms which had bid for the contract included U.S. firm Raytheon (RTN.N), which put in an offer with its Patriot missile defence system. Franco-Italian group Eurosam, owned by the multinational European missile maker MBDA and France’s Thales TCFP.PA, came second in the tender.
The deal has raised concerns with NATO allies who say the country should invest in systems compatible with theirs. Turkey however, accuses allies of failing to meet its defense needs.
Turkey, with the second-largest army in the alliance, has enormous strategic importance for NATO, abutting as it does Syria, Iraq and Iran. But the relationship has become fractious. Erdogan has been infuriated by Washington’s support for Kurdish YPG fighters in the battle against Islamic State in Syria. Turkey sees the YPG as an extension of the militant Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), which has waged a three-decade insurgency in Turkey’s largely Kurdish southeast.