Ahead of meeting with Trump, Erdogan threatened to buy Russian jets
As Turkish President Erdogan meets with US President Donald Trump today, he brings with him some aggravating news- the Turkish military might be flying Sukhois and MiGs in the near future.
In what has already become a contentious relationship between the US and Turkey, the Turkish government has now gone beyond simply buying Russian missile defense systems, this time looking to replace its canceled fleet of F-35s with Russian planes- while still (at least for now) making parts for the NATO strike aircraft.
A member of NATO, Turkey’s Russian tastes are no doubt making a bad impression on fellow treaty partners, many of whom have already condemned the country’s actions in Syria, where Turkish forces and proxy militias are being accused of war crimes.
According to NBC News, the meeting scheduled to take place today is crucial, according to a Trump administration official.
“The president is committed to direct engagement and diplomacy where it is most critical: Erdogan himself,” the official said. “[T]his is nearly a 70-year alliance. It has helped both of our countries through very, very dark times. We are not going to throw it away lightly if there is a way forward.”
While the F-35s are never completely off the table, Erdogan will have to give up his procurement plans involving Russian equipment if he wants back into the ‘F-35” club that so many nations are now a part of.
Turkey’s S-400 missile systems were purchased from Russia earlier this year, and some defense experts have speculated that information concerning the F-35 may have been leaked to the Russians by the Turkish government.
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