Talks over missile defense deal hits home stretch, says Erdoğan
by Daily Sabah
Mar 23, 2015 - 12:00 am GMT+3
by Daily Sabah
Mar 23, 2015 12:00 am
President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, on his way back to Turkey from the fourth Turkey-Ukraine High Level Cooperation Council meeting, said that the latest evaluation by the National Defense System Undersecretariat on Turkey's long-awaited, billion-dollar long-range air and missile defense system is being carried out.
Referring to Chinese officials' claims that they won the missile defense system tender, Erdoğan said all of the countries included in the deal, which are France/Italy, the U.S. and China, appear to accept some issue in the deal that they did not agree to before, but the latest decision will be given after the evaluation period.
Rumors in Ankara's political circles said that no decision will be made over the missile defense system winner before April 24 since Turkey wants to see France and the U.S.'s position on the 1915 incidents and the agreement may be made with China if these administrations take a pro-Armenian stance.
The 1915 incidents occurred during World War I when a portion of the Armenian population living in the Ottoman Empire sided with the Russian Empire and revolted. The uprising came about after a decision by the Ottoman Empire to forcibly relocate Armenians to eastern Anatolia. The Armenian diaspora and the state of Armenia have both described the incidents as "genocide" and have asked for compensation.
The Turkish Long-Range Missile Defense System Project is one of the defense industry's biggest projects in which Chinese, American and Italian-French companies are competing for the contract.
Last August, the Defense Industry Undersecretariat announced the project called T-LORAMIDS for the country's air and missile defense program. This has been continued as of Dec. 31 of last year by the ministry to negotiate further with a number of companies.