Erdogan declares commitment to S-400s ahead of Biden’s inauguration

President Erdogan said on Jan. 15 that Turkey was in talks to procure a second shipment of S-400 missile defense systems from Russia and would hold talks on the issue later this month.

He described the US’ approach towards Turkey on F-35 fighter jets as a “serious mistake,” expressing hope that positive steps would be taken on Turkey’s role in the F-35 jet program under Biden’s Presidency. He added that despite having paid a serious fee on the F-35s, the F-35s still have not been delivered to Turkey; a serious mistake done by the US administration to its NATO ally.  

The US government had imposed long-anticipated sanctions on Turkey’s defense industry over its acquisition of S-400 missile defense systems from Moscow last month which Turkey had called a “grave mistake”.

The United States had also removed its NATO member Turkey from the F-35 program due to its S-400 purchase based on its argument that the S-400s pose a threat to its F-35 fighter jets and to NATO’s broader defense systems. Turkey claims the opposite saying S-400s will not be integrated into the NATO system adding that the S-400 purchase decision stemmed a necessity as Turkey was unable to procure air defense systems from any NATO ally on satisfactory terms.

Erdogan announced that no country could determine the steps Turkey will take toward the defense industry and the decision solely belongs to the Turkish government.

Biden will be inaugurated on Jan. 20.  Despite Ankara has said it hopes for better ties with Washington then, news suggest the Biden team has made no contact with Ankara ahead of its official take over of the Presidency.