Washington again invites Ankara to abandon the Russian S-400 agreement
On Wednesday, the United States renewed its call on Turkey to back down on the purchase of the Russian S-400 missile system it concluded with Moscow, in a position that appears to reject an initiative advanced by Ankara to avoid US sanctions.
In an interview published on Tuesday, Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar proposed a deal under which his NATO member country would refrain from fully deploying the Russian defense system, originally manufactured by Moscow, to target fighters. westerners. Asked about the Turkish proposal, US State Department spokesman Ned Price said “our policy regarding the S-400 missile system hasn’t changed.”
He added that Russian S-400 missiles are not compatible with NATO equipment and pose a security threat to the technology adopted by the Atlantic Alliance and are inconsistent with Turkey’s obligations as a member state. “We continue to urge Turkey not to acquire this system.” The US secretary of state added.
Speaking with the Turkish newspaper “Hurriyat,” Hulusi confirmed his country’s willingness to negotiate a model similar to that applied to the S-300 missiles located on the island of Crete in Greece. Faced with strong protests from Turkey, Cyprus in 1999 changed its deployment of S-300 missiles requested by Russia and placed them on the island of Crete in agreement with Athens.Greece later became the owner of these missiles, which have since been used only during exercises in 2013. However, US officials have rejected this initiative, considering the S-400 missiles are more advanced.
Ankara’s purchase of these Russian missiles led to strained relations with Washington, which warned it against concluding the deal and subsequently excluded it from the F-35 fighter development program, imposing sanctions against the Turkish Military Supply Agency. The new president of the United States, Joe Biden, had pledged before his election to take a tougher approach to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, describing him as an authoritarian.
The Biden administration has expressed concern over the arrests and letters against LGBTQ minorities issued by the authorities amid the crackdown on student demonstrations.The Turkish government’s appointment of an outside rector to an esteemed Istanbul university has led to weeks of demonstrations, hundreds of arrests, and some of the most vocal and sustained complaints in years against President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s expansive powers.
The protests began in early January, after Erdogan appointed an academic with ties to the Muslim Brotherhood ruling party as rector of Istanbul’s Bogazici University. Students and faculty members complained that the appointment trampled a decades-long tradition of Bogazici’s rectors being selected by the university and that the appointee, Melih Bulu, a former politician, was unqualified for the post. Erdogan answered calling the students “terrorists”.