Turkey is a sovereign country and is free to purchase weapons in line with its needs, opposition Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) Chairman Devlet Bahçeli said Tuesday in response to NATO's stance regarding Turkey's defense deals.
Speaking at his party's parliamentary group meeting, in response to NATO's statement on Oct. 26 that Turkey's purchase of the S-400 missile systems will have consequences for the country, Bahçeli said that Turkey is an independent country and has the right to buy any weapon independently of NATO.
"We buy weapons from whomever we want to and we will not give account to NATO for this" Bahçeli said, adding that no one should wag fingers at Turkey from Brussels.
"Turkey can purchase any weapon from any country by paying the price in accordance with its needs," he added.
The S-400 missile defense system is Russia's most advanced long-range anti-aircraft missile system and can carry three types of missiles capable of destroying targets, including ballistic and cruise missiles.
It can track and engage up to 300 targets at the same time and has an altitude ceiling of 27 kilometers.
Bahçeli also questioned NATO's benefits for Turkey. "When Turkey has been struggling with attacks threatening its security, what was NATO doing and planning?" he asked. He added that Turkey will not take NATO's remarks seriously if Turkey is under a threat.
Bahçeli also supported the government's stance regarding the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG)'s independence referendum, saying that it has greatly contributed to "extinguish the fire of treason" in the region.
"We approve and commend this policy" Bahçeli said, in reference to Turkey's opposition and determined stance against the KRG referendum.
He criticized KRG President Masoud Barzani for holding the referendum despite opposition by regional powers, saying that he is now paying the price for his insistence.
Citing that the Turkish Armed Force's (TSK) operation in Idlib is continuing as part of the Astana talks, Bahçeli said that Turkey should mount an operation on Afrin following the completion of its Idlib operation. "Our borders with Iraq and Syria should be secured," Bahçeli said. He added that operations against the PKK should continue at full throttle.
Masoud Barzani for holding the referendum despite opposition by regional powers, saying that he is now paying the price for his insistence.