Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar said that Ankara’s test of the Russian “S-400” missile defense system (S-400) does not mean its departure from NATO, stressing at the same time that it continues to test the system according to prepared plans.
Akar’s comments came after the United States denounced that the Turkish army had conducted a test of the system on the 16th of this month.
Yesterday, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan confirmed the news of the test, stressing that his country will test other weapons and does not need permission from Washington in this regard.
A spokeswoman for the Turkish Defense Ministry – Nadia Shibnam Aq Top – said, “With regard to the (S-400) system, instead of making statements about the possibility of deteriorating relations, what we expect from our friends and allies is to focus on discussing alternative solutions that we have presented so far, and measures. Additional reasonable technique that can be taken if any. “
She explained in a statement that the S-400 test is part of the normal process as part of the system’s long-term preparations.
The statement stressed that the claim that Turkey is acting in contradiction to NATO commitments is inconsistent with logic, adding that Turkey “is fulfilling its responsibilities within the alliance to the fullest, in conjunction with its continuous fight against a number of dangers in a wide geographical area.”
The statement emphasized that Turkey’s goal is not to distract anyone, but to ensure the safety of its people.
And the US Department of Defense (Pentagon) strongly condemned Turkey’s test of the S-400 air defense system.
Pentagon spokesman Jonathan Hoffmanan said that the United States opposes Turkey’s possession of the “S-400” system, adding, “We object to these tests that create serious problems for our security relations.”
It is noteworthy that Turkey concluded an agreement with Russia to supply it with the “S-400” air defense system in April 2017, and the move led to tension in relations between Ankara and Washington.