Turkish opposition party slams US on S-400 deal

Turkish opposition party slams US on S-400 deal

US imposition on Russian air defense systems forcing ‘national patience,’ says Nationalist Movement Party leader

By Yıldız Nevin Gundogmus

ANKARA (AA) - The leader of Turkey’s Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) on Thursday criticized the U.S.’ stand on an air defense systems deal between Ankara and Moscow.

"The U.S. imposition of the S-400 air defense systems, the ongoing blackmail and the threat of sanctions are forcing national patience," Devlet Bahceli wrote on Twitter.

He stressed that Turkey is not a "colonial" country and said Ankara would not ask Washington “which weapon to buy or from who and when.”

Turkey had been trying to purchase an air defense system from the U.S. After finding no success, in 2017 Ankara decided to buy the Russian S-400 systems.

The move was criticized by the Pentagon, which warned that purchasing the S-400 would hurt Turkish-U.S. ties as well as Turkey's role in NATO. It also promised if Turkey were to call off the S-400 deal, it would provide Turkey with defense systems that meet all of its requirements.

But in December, Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said even if Turkey bought the U.S. Patriot missiles, it would not cancel the S-400 deal.

Patriot missiles are used for defense purposes to shoot down incoming missiles and planes.

*Writing by Beyza Binnur Donmez

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