The S-400 issue is becoming more complicated with Washington unwilling to recognize Turkey's decisiveness. The U.S. keeps insisting that the deal can be stopped, but Turkey considers the acquisition a "done deal."
Defense Minister Hulusi Akar had important meetings with American officials last month and when he was speaking about the recent situation to reporters the other day, he said the U.S. is still trying to dissuade Turkey from purchasing the S-400s. However, Ankara is determined to go through with the deal.
Since there are no foreseeable changes in Turkey's policy regarding the acquisition of Russian missiles, it might be possible that the U.S. will try to levy sanctions against Turkey. Hence, Ankara is laying down preparations.
If we look at the big picture, we see a very obvious problem. Washington tries to manipulate foreign policy decisions of other countries by force, builds barriers against free trade and pushes governments for obedience.
Turkey's S-400 story is a story of resistance against such aggression. Of course, it is not easy. And like I stated in my last column, it should not push Turkey from the Western hemisphere or from the Western bloc. Ankara has strong ties with the East and West and should keep its position without giving too many concessions.
That is why a good solution to overcome the S-400 crisis could be to let the issue cool for a while. Neither side can take steps since they have both confined themselves to their positions and the international audience is focused on the subject.
Turkey is fulfilling its responsibilities in the F-35 project and expects the program to continue as planned. However, the U.S. insistently claims that the S-400s cannot be integrated into NATO systems and jeopardize Turkey's role in building the F-35 jets.
This actually is not about the integration of a system; it is about the integration of a country called Turkey into the horizon of U.S.-controlled governments. That is the basis of Turkey's resistance. I am not saying that Turkey should follow a strict "no" policy. I am saying that Ankara should conduct backdoor diplomacy to convince the Donald Trump government that it isn't trying to change its foreign policy priorities.
It is important to remember Akar's statement: "There is no clause anywhere in the F-35 agreement saying one will be excluded from the partnership for buying the S-400s. Turkey has paid $1.2 billion. We also produced the parts ordered from us on time. What more can we do as a partner?"
That is a very relevant question. The U.S. should see Turkey's stake and stop applying pressure to dominate big decisions because that behavior has the potential to turn allies into foes.
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