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Thursday, February 15, 2024

“No one can give an ultimatum to Turkey”: Turkish FO

The opposing domestic political parties in Turkey unite in support or Erdogan government's decision to purchase the S-400 defense system despite US threats. Turkey's stance on the matter remains unchanged, and the US threats of congressional sanctions and ultimatums slammed by Turkish officials.

Anadolu |

The opposition, Good (IYI) Party, of Turkey supported the government’s purchase of Russian S-400 missile defense systems.

Turkey Stands United

Voicing his support for President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Yavuz Agiralioglu, the group deputy chairman, recalled that the US supplied arms and ammunition to the PKK terrorist group and its Syrian offshoot of YPG. Turkey has long criticized the US working with and supplying arms and ammunition to the YPG/PKK to defeat Daesh.

“If you provide arms and ammunition support to the enemy of your ally, Turkey then takes all kinds of measures to ensure its own security,” Agiralioglu told the lawmakers in the parliament.

Turkish officials argue that using one terrorist group to fight another makes no sense.

The US adopted the policy of ‘you are either with me, or you are my enemy’

In its more than 30-year terror campaign against Turkey, the PKK – listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the US and the EU – has been responsible for the deaths of nearly 40,000 people, including women and children. The PYD/YPG is its Syrian branch, and also works under the label of the SDF.

“Despite our contest with the ruling Justice and Development (AK) Party in the domestic politics, we are assuming the finger shaken at Mr. Erdogan as a finger shaken at Turkey,” he said.

Agiralioglu stressed that they would take a “national stance” on the S-400 case.

US can not Threaten Turkey

A Turkish lawmaker from the opposition Saadet (Felicity) Party reacted to the US threats of imposing sanctions on Ankara for purchasing S-400 air missile defense systems from Russia.

Read more: Turkey’s S-400 purchase creates unacceptable risks: US

“The US adopted the policy of ‘you are either with me, or you are my enemy’,” Cihangir Islam told reporters in the parliament. “Threatening the Turkish Nation with some devastating sanctions for purchasing S-400 defense systems is a kind of violence and vandalism,” Islam said. He also called on Turkish defense and foreign ministers to brief the lawmakers about S-400 issue and Turkey-US relations in a closed session.

“We do not accept the tone of this letter. And no one can give an ultimatum to Turkey. Turkey is an independent and free country” said the Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu.

Unacceptable US letter: Turkey’s Response
(Analysis by GVS news desk)

Tensions between the US and Turkey have simmered over Ankara’s purchase of Russian S-400 missile defense systems.

If you provide arms and ammunition support to the enemy of your ally, Turkey then takes all kinds of measures to ensure its own security

US Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan sent a letter to Turkey’s Defense Minister Hulusi Akar last week saying Washington will cut short a training program on F-35 fighter jets for Turkish pilots over “safety concerns.”

“We’ve suspended some of the activities in terms of training. We haven’t suspended any of the maintenance activity,” the letter said. Washington maintains the move will jeopardize Turkey’s role in the US F-35 fighter jet program and could trigger congressional sanctions.

In a press conference on Thursday, the Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said “With such letters Turkey does not give up the decisions which are taken. Turkey has taken the S-400 (missile defense systems), S-400 is coming to Turkey and will be deployed. The work continues about it. The Ministry of Defense is preparing an answer to the letter. We have given them the necessary contributions and the Turkish Defense Minister will send a letter in response to this letter as soon as possible”

During the Thursday phone call between Hulusi Akar, Turkey’s national defense minister, and Patrick Shanahan, the acting US defense secretary, Turkey’s defense chief brought up the “improperly” worded letter which was “not in line with the spirit of the alliance.”

Read more: Turkey slams US for disrespecting “spirit of alliance”

Thursday’s phone call also discussed mutual issues between the two countries, regional security issues, and defense industry cooperation matters.

At the end of the call, Akar and Shanahan agreed to meet each other at the next NATO ministerial meeting in Brussels, it said.

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. It hopes US will abandon attitude which will harm bilateral relations permanently over S-400 missiles issue, says presidential spokesman.

Anadolu with additional input by GVS newsdesk