Turkey’s acquisition of Russian S-400 anti-aircraft missile systems from Russia is due to Ankara’s desire to have its own air defense equipment, rather than constantly asking for deployment from partners in the North Atlantic Alliance. This statement was made by Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu during a press conference with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg.

“Until today, we did not have our own air defense system. At our request, the Netherlands, Italy, and Spain installed their Patriot systems in Turkey. These systems are very good, but these are temporary solutions. First they are installed, then they are removed, then they are installed again. I’m not saying this as criticism - it is a matter of natural rotation, and I sincerely thank our allies for this help. But this suggests that we should have our own air defense system. We must not be eternal petitioners. Therefore, we bought the S-400, ”said Cavusoglu.

Recall that the contract for the supply of four S-400 divisions was concluded between Russia and Turkey in 2017, its amount amounted to $ 2.5 billion. As Recep Tayyip Erdogan later noted, the Russian side showed a “sincere approach” in the issue of selling Triumph systems . At the same time, the purchase of additional installations is not excluded.

At the moment, Russia has completed two stages of the supply of components of air defense systems to the Myurt airbase in Ankara. The first phase lasted from July 12 to July 25, the second from August 27 to September 15.

  • Mevlut Cavusoglu
  • Reuters
  • © Muhammad Hamed

According to the military political scientist, head of the department of political science and sociology Plekhanov Andrei Koshkin, voiced by the Turkish Foreign Minister, the reason logically fits into the course taken by the republic on independence in defense matters.

“No one has a doubt, including the leadership of NATO and the United States, that Turkey is striving for independence and would not want to depend on anyone, solving issues of strengthening its defenses,” he explained.

In turn, a military expert and retired colonel Viktor Litovkin recalled that neighboring Greece has S-300 systems in service, so it was important for Ankara to have a more advanced air defense system.

“The S-400 is truly the best air defense system in the world, it is the most effective and modern. As for the American Patriot system, we remember the incompetent operation of this system during the Persian Gulf war in 2003, we know about the Patriot failure in Saudi Arabia, when Husit drones attacked an oil refinery. Therefore, the Turks have chosen what they need and what will reliably protect their territory and objects. Turkey demonstrates to everyone its independence, its sovereignty, its ability to withstand any pressure, ”the source said.

  • Jens Stoltenberg
  • Reuters
  • © Costas Baltas

NATO Concern

Meanwhile, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg expressed dissatisfaction with the fact that Ankara is cooperating with Moscow on the issue of air defense. According to the North Atlantic Alliance, the S-400 systems are incompatible with their air defense system.

“We discussed Turkey’s acquisition of Russian S-400 systems. I reiterated NATO's concern for this decision. These systems are not compatible with the capabilities of NATO air defense and pose a potential threat to the military aviation of the countries of the alliance, ”said Stoltenberg.

At the same time, experts note that the level of integration of Russian S-300 systems, which are in service with Bulgaria, Slovakia and Greece, does not cause concern for NATO.

Meanwhile, the head of NATO stressed that the alliance is firmly committed to maintaining Turkey’s security, as evidenced by the investment of $ 5 billion in the military infrastructure of the republic in recent years.

“Turkey is at the forefront of a very unstable region. “No other NATO ally has been subjected to more terrorist attacks, no other NATO ally has been subjected to such instability, violence and unrest in the Middle East as Turkey,” the Secretary General added.

As indicated by a military political scientist, head of the department of political science and sociology Plekhanova Andrei Koshkin, NATO has long been dissatisfied with Turkey’s acquisition of Russian air defense systems, but we should not expect a transition to action.

“No action will follow, since Turkey is the southern flank of NATO. In Turkey, the American base Incirlik is located. The Turks may say, “Get out of this base,” and then the Americans and NATO will lose serious support in the Middle East. They will, of course, say anything, but they will not take any concrete measures against Turkey, ”added military expert and retired colonel Viktor Litovkin.