Turkey vows to retaliate against US sanctions

Turkey vows to retaliate against US sanctions

Turkey said it will not be afraid to hit back if the United States imposes sanctions on it, as Ankara's missile co-operation with Russia grows.
2 min read
22 July, 2019
Turkey is upscaling its defence infrastructure with Russia [Getty]
Turkey has said it will hit back at the United States if it imposes sanctions over Ankara’s purchase of Russian S-400 missile defence systems, Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said on Monday.

In an interview with broadcaster TGRT Haber, Cavusoglu warned that any sanctions placed on Turkey would be unacceptable.

He added US President Donald Trump does not want to impose sanctions, noting he does not expect Washington to take such drastic measures against Ankara.

The comments come as reports suggest Russia and Turkey are in talks about the prospect of jointly building some components of Russia’s S-400 missile defence system in Turkey, Russia’s TASS news agency cited Sergei Chemezov, head of Russia’s Rostec state conglomerate, as saying.

Earlier this month Turkey announced it was planning to deploy the controversial S-400 missile defence system in the capital Ankara, the site of an attempted coup against the government in 2016.

Turkey has ordered more than 100 of the F-35 fighter jets, spending $1.4 billion while its defence industry has invested significant sums into the warplanes' production.

Ankara is currently embroiled in an entrenched diplomatic dispute with Washington over the Russian defence system.

Last week Washington threatened sanctions over the S-400 purchase. 

On Wednesday the US kicked Turkey out of NATO's F-35 stealth fighter jet program, in a move that was blasted as "unfair" by Turkey.

"This one-sided step neither complies with the spirit of alliance nor is it based on legitimate reasons," the Turkish foreign ministry said in a statement. 

"It is unfair to remove Turkey, one of the partners in the F-35 programme," the ministry said, as it dismissed claims the Russian S-400 system would be a danger to the F-35s.

Relations between the NATO allies have deteriorated since Ankara's purchase from Russia but there have been strains over multiple issues including US support to a Syrian Kurdish militia viewed as terrorists by Turkey.

The Turkish ministry called on the US to show the importance of the Ankara-Washington relationship "not just through words but through action and especially in the fight against terrorist organisations."

Follow us on Twitter: