/ Go to the mediabankAnti-aircraft defense system S-400 Triumph / Go to the mediabankInternationalIndiaAfricaWashington’s proposal that Ankara send its Russia-made S-400 air defense weapons system to Ukraine was nothing short of an attack on Turkiye’s sovereignty and independence, Ahmet Berat Chonkar, co-chairman of the Russian-Turkish Public Forum and member of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), told Sputnik.Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu earlier revealed that the US urged the nation to provide its advanced missile defense system, the S-400 Triumph, to the Kiev regime. “We said no,” Cavusoglu stressed as quoted by the Turkish press. The foreign minister added that the proposal was unacceptable since it sought to infringe Turkiye’s sovereignty.”This is an attack on our sovereignty and independence,” echoed Ahmet Berat Chonkar. “Turkiye is a sovereign state that makes its own strategic decisions regarding its own interests. Turkiye is not an American state, nor is it governed by an American governor. This is a most outrageous, totally unacceptable proposal.”Washington has been at odds with Ankara over the latter’s decision to purchase Russia’s state-of-the-art air missile defense system since 2017. At that time, the Turkish government reached an agreement with Russia after failing to strike a deal with the US on the provision of additional air defenses for the country. According to US observers, Turkiye first started to ring the alarm over its vulnerability during the Gulf War (1990–1991) when Ankara asked NATO to shield the nation from possible retaliatory SCUD missile strikes from then-Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein. The alliance agreed to deploy its Patriot systems under a NATO flag. However, it was important for Ankara to build its own air defense shield to protect the country’s sovereignty.NATO Biggest Threat to Turkey’s Independence and Sovereignty, Turkish Observers Say27 January, 13:09 GMTHowever, Washington refused to sell its system to Turkiye, prompting the latter to turn to Russia. Russia’s alternative was both advanced, flexible and more affordable than the US Patriot-2 system.US and NATO officials opposed Ankara’s plan to buy the Russia-made S-400, claiming that it would be incompatible with the transatlantic bloc’s military systems and would pose a threat to the alliance’s F-35 stealth program.For its part, the Turkish leadership argued that the S-400 would not be integrated into a NATO system and thus would pose no challenge to the alliance’s armaments. Ankara also offered to set up a commission to sort the matter out. Nonetheless, Washington expelled Ankara from the US-led multinational fifth-generation F-35 fighter jet program in 2019 – even though Turkiye invested $1.4 billion (TL 24.2 billion) in it.AnalysisNATO Has Never Met Turkiye’s Security Needs and Russia’s Su-35 is Option for Ankara, Journo Says6 March, 16:50 GMTCommenting on the matter on Sunday, Cavusoglu pointed out that Ankara is not going to return to the F-35 program but wants Washington to give back Ankara’s money spent on the aircraft development back. Furthermore, the foreign minister emphasized that Turkiye is focused on producing its own “national combat aircraft.” It was earlier reported that the nation has been developing indigenous fifth-generation fighter jets.
Meanwhile, relations between Washington and Ankara appear to have hit a new low: Turkish Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu accused the US of meddling in the nation's forthcoming general elections and lambasted Western media for manipulations and smear. On May 3, Soylu warned that the US would attempt a presidential coup during the upcoming election in order to finish what was started in July 2016.
Turkiye’s unwillingness to join Washington’s anti-Russia sanctions over Moscow’s special military operation to de-Nazify and demilitarize Ukraine is named by international observers as a reason for the growing pressure on Ankara from the West.
"This pressure is futile," said Berat Chonkar. "The US and Europe make specific decisions regarding their foreign policy and they do not discuss them with Turkiye. Of course, Turkiye will not support a decision that was made without their knowledge. Turkiye follows an independent policy based on its national interests and security priorities. Turkiye follows only relevant UN resolutions, and decisions taken unilaterally by other countries are not binding."