Turkey Unhappy With Reported US Sanction Plans
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan reacted with surprisingly subdued tones to the weekend news of Washington’s intent to sanction Ankara, saying such a move would be “disrespectful to an important NATO ally” but calling on all sides to come together through “dialogue and cooperation.” On Friday, Reuters reported that the United States was planning to slap Turkey with severe penalties for its 2019 acquisition of advanced S-400 air defense systems from Russia, a deal condemned by the US which at the time warned would have serious ramifications. After the sale was finalized, Washington removed Ankara from its F-35 fighter jet program. According to several administration sources, the sanctions would target Turkey’s Presidency of Defense Industries and its head, Ismail Demir. President Donald Trump has reportedly greenlighted for the move after being notified that the pending annual US defense authorization legislation, expected to soon pass in the Senate, would force him to penalize Turkey anyway. Sources told Reuters President Trump wished to avoid appearing like Congress forced his hand.