Erdogan refutes western concerns over Turkey's purchase of Russian S-400 missiles

Although a prospective missile purchase from Russian Federation was made public several months ago, Mr Erdogan's announcement on Tuesday was the first confirmation that Turkey had transferred money to pay for the missile system, known as the S-400.

A S-400 Triumf launch vehicle.

"We make the decisions about our own independence ourselves, we are obliged to take safety and security measures in order to defend our country", he said.

Moscow - Moscow and Ankara confirmed on Tuesday that they signed a deal in which Moscow would sell Ankara S-400 missiles. What are we supposed to do?

In a statement to Turkish journalists, Erdo─čan revealed that Turkey had already paid a deposit to Russian Federation, though it is still engaging on an intergovernmental basis on the issue of export credit to support the deal.

In parallel to the S-400, the Turkish companies Aselsan and Roketsan signed a "Heads of Agreement" with French-Italian consortium Eurosam to fulfill the Turkish Undersecretariat of Defence Industries (SSM)'s requirement for a homegrown long-range SAM system.


Turkish officials said in April that North Atlantic Treaty Organisation nations had not presented a "financially effective" offer on alternative missile defense systems.

Erdogan's remarks follow a statement from the US State Department on Tuesday which voiced concerns over Ankara's purchase of the Russian missile system.

Some media reports have said the deal could be worth up to $US2.5 billion.

The purchase of the surface-to-air missile defence batteries, Ankara's most significant deal with a non-NATO supplier, comes with Turkey in the throes of a crisis in relations with several Western states.

The S-400 system is an advanced Russian missile system created to detect, track, and destroy planes, drones, or missiles as far as 402 kilometers away.

Erdogan has been critical of Washington for supporting Kurdish groups in Syria that it says are responsible for terror attacks inside Turkey.


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