Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan hinted that his country could go to Russia as an alternative to buy fighter jets after the United States excluded them from the F-35 fighter program, pointing out that the Turkish government is still in the early stages of studying its options.
Erdogan told reporters in Ankara that "if the United States continues its same approach on the issue of F-35 fighter jets, we will manage, will we buy Su-35? Or F-35? Or Su-57?", Referring to Russian Sukhoi fighter jets.
After Ankara bought Russia's S-400 air defense system, Washington excluded Turkey from the F-35 fighter program.
Turkey has repeatedly said it wants to become a producer of military equipment, not just a buyer from countries such as the United States and Russia.
Erdogan's comments came after a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday on the sidelines of the "Max" international aviation exhibition on the outskirts of Moscow, where Russia offers military equipment and civil space.
Turkey has ordered the purchase of more than 100 aircraft "F-35", and the Turkish defense sector has put significant investments in the development of this aircraft.
Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said Friday during a visit to Oslo that Turkey had spent $ 1.4 billion on the F35 program.
In the worst case, US President Donald Trump told Erdogan in Osaka at the G20 summit in June that they would return the money to Turkey "but we hope we will not get there," he said.