President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan assured that there are no disagreements with NATO over Turkey's S-400 missile deal, saying that the two sides have not changed their positions on the matter.
President Erdoğan, speaking on the sidelines of the U.N. summit in New York on Sept. 19, said, "In a meeting with NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg, he reiterated previous statements that every country in the alliance is sovereign in terms of its domestic regulations and has the right to make independent decisions in this regard."
The president went on to note that the Turkish General Staff will send a delegate to Brussels in order to provide NATO with further information about relevant details of the deal.The NATO secretary-general in previous remarks over the S-400 missile deal said on Sept. 14 that Turkey's decision is a national one, emphasizing that member states have the sovereign right to make decisions regarding their military purchases. Stoltenberg also reiterated that even though NATO has an integrated air defense system, it is possible for members to adopt independent, nonintegrated systems.Commenting on Turkey's efforts to procure the S-400 air defense missile system from its NATO allies, specifically the U.S., President Erdoğan told the U.S. TV network PBS that NATO declined Turkey's requests.
"We will take care of ourselves. These [the S-400 missile system] are essential instruments in our defense system. Currently Greece, another NATO member, has the S-300 system," he added.
Deputy Prime Minister Bekir Bozdağ also criticized the uncompromising attitude of its allies and the oppositions Turkey has faced in its procurement of the S-400.
Speaking in the Turkish province of Yozgat on Sept. 19, Bozdağ stressed Turkey's immediate need for an effective air defense system.
"Right now, there is unrest in Syria that has been met with help from various NATO countries including Germany and the Netherlands. However, whenever a disaster occurs, we will implore help from you," he said.
Minister Bozdağ said that NATO not only opposes Turkey's demands for self-procurement of the system but also the purchasing of the system from non-NATO countries.
The deputy prime minister stated that Turkey has its own options and is taking steps accordingly. "We have made a deal, deposits have been transferred and we will purchase this system which will strengthen our air defense system," he asserted.
Reiterating that improvements are being made in Turkey's defense industry, Bozdağ contended that the S-400 missile deal will contribute to the role Turkey plays in the region and in the global arena as well, adding that domestic production has increased from 20 percent to 65 percent.
Additionally, Bozdağ announced that the deal will enable the transfer of technology and increase the production capabilities of Turkish engineers in producing this missile.
As Turkey and Russia agreed on the S-400 missile procurement deal, efforts for the launching of the delivery process have been accelerated.
According to some Turkish media outlets, the S-400 system will be positioned at the Akıncı air base in the capital city of Ankara. Two missile batteries are projected to arrive in Turkey next year; two hangars and ramps have reportedly been built on the air base, in line with preparatory measures.
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