by Jordan Hilger, Worthy News Correspondent
(Worthy News) - Turkey remained firm in its commitment to purchase the Russian S-400 missile defense system Wednesday, saying the US ought to look out if it went ahead with its threatened sanctions against the sole Middle East NATO member.
Currently a participant in the F-35 fighter jet program with which the US has sought to update all its NATO allies with Lockheed’s most recent technology, Turkey frightened experts in the US when it announced its purchase of the Russian anti-aircraft system, which would allow Russian technicians on the ground in Turkey “access to the genius of the F-35," in the words of Trump.
“We are inviting the US to avoid taking the wrong steps which would exclude diplomacy and dialogue and harm relations,” the Turkish foreign ministry said in a statement Wednesday.
Tensions seem to be increasing along officials lines, but a more informal dialogue between Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and President Trump at the G20 summit in late June seems to have yielded a mutual understanding between the two leaders, with Trump apparently believing Erdogan's claim that the Obama administration had shortchanged the Turks of an opportunity to purchase the US-built Patriot missile defense system.
“Honestly, it’s not really Erdogan’s fault,” Trump said after the convening of the 20 major economic powers in late June. “We’ll see what we can do.”
If the US follows through with its threat of a sanctions package—which will include expulsion of Turkish fighter pilots from the F-35 program and the loss of major contracts by Turkish defense companies—the Turkish economy is likely to lose $12 billion, aside from any potential rift that might be created in an already tenuous NATO alliance.