Erdogan: No F-35s? No Problem – We Can Go ‘Elsewhere’
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan says that if the United States sticks to its guns and removes Turkey from the list of countries allowed to buy Lockheed Martin’s advanced stealth F-35 fighter jet, it can meet its needs elsewhere – and not only with the warplanes. Speaking on Friday to fellow members of his AK Party, the Turkish leader said, as if speaking to an American leader: “Are you not giving us the F-35s? Okay, then excuse us but we will once again have to take measures on that matter as well and we will turn elsewhere…. Even if we’re not getting F-35s, we are buying 100 advanced Boeing aircraft, the agreement is signed…. At the moment, one of the Boeing planes has arrived and we are making the payments, we are good customers. But, if things continue like this, we will have to reconsider.” The Trump Administration said it was blocking the sale of the stealth jets because of Ankara’s purchase from Russia of advanced S-400 air defense missiles rather than a system compatible with those of fellow NATO members. It is reported that Russia has now dangled its Su-35 warplane in front of the Turks, but there’s no sign of any interest – at least for now.