Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan (left) and Russian President Vladimir Putin lead an April 8 meeting in Moscow aimed at drumming up trade between the two countries. (Alexei NikolskyTASS via Getty Images)

Tensions with U.S. Pushing Turkey into Russia’s Arms (AUDIO INTERVIEW)

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan says he is “committed” to a deal with Moscow to purchase Russian-made S-400 anti-aircraft missile defense systems, a move that has angered the United States and other NATO members.

“There is a certain step that we took; there is an agreement here and we are committed to it,” Erdogan told reporters Tuesday. “It is out of the question for us to take a step back,” he added.

The latest dispute between Washington and Ankara has raised already heightened tensions between the two allies, which are at odds over U.S. support for Kurdish fighters in Syria that Turkey considers terrorists. The Turkish government is also infuriated with the Trump Administration over its refusal to extradite exiled cleric Fethullah Gulen, who Erdogan blames for the failed 2016 coup.

The Media Line discussed these issues and more with Dr. Hay Eytan Cohen Yanarocak, a researcher at the Moshe Dayan Center for Middle Eastern and African Studies at Tel Aviv University and an expert on contemporary Turkish politics and society.

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