"What Did They Expect?" Turkey Pivots From NATO, Signs Russia Missile Deal

Tyler Durden's picture

Confirming, and sending the clearest sign of his previously discussed pivot toward Russia and away from NATO and the West, on Tuesday President Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced that Turkey had signed a deal to purchase a Russian surface-to-air missile system, and paid the first installment. The deal cements Turkey's recent rapprochement with Russia, despite differences over the war in Syria, the downing of a Russian fighter jet over Turkey in late 2015 and the assassination of a Russian ambassador earlier this year, and comes as Turkey’s ties with the United States and European Union have become strained to the point of breaking.

Although the missile purchase from Russia was made public several months ago, Erdogan’s announcement was the first confirmation that Turkey had transferred money to pay for the S-400 missile system.

“Signatures have been made for the purchase of S-400s from Russia,” Erdogan said in comments published in several newspapers on Tuesday. “A deposit has also been paid as far as I know.”

As the NYT writes, "the purchase of the missile system flies in the face of cooperation within the NATO alliance, which Turkey has belonged to since the early 1950s. NATO does not ban purchases of military hardware from manufacturers outside the American-led alliance, but it does discourage members from buying equipment not compatible with that used by other members."

According to reports in the Russian media, Turkey is to get four batteries of S-400 launchers complete with targeting radar and control posts. Some aspects of the deal are reportedly to be finalized, but Russian officials said the contract furthers Russia’s geostrategic interests.

* * *

Predictably, the Pentagon promptly reiterated its concerns over the deal, which it said undermines inter-operability of weapons systems among NATO allies. “We have relayed our concerns to Turkish officials regarding the potential purchase of the S-400. A NATO inter-operable missile defense system remains the best option to defend Turkey from the full range of threats in its region," spokesman Johnny Michael said in a statement.

A NATO official in Brussels where the alliance is headquartered, said that no NATO member currently operates the Russian missile system and that the alliance had not been informed about the details of the purchase by Turkey. “What matters for NATO is that the equipment allies acquire is able to operate together,” the official said, speaking on the condition of anonymity as required by alliance procedures. “Interoperability of allied armed forces is essential to NATO for the conduct of our operations.”

However, on Wednesday Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan slammed the critics of Turkey’s deal with Russia, saying Ankara had no intention of waiting for the protection of its NATO allies.

“They have gone crazy because we made a deal for S-400s,” Erdogan said Wednesday in a speech to the ruling AKP mayors in Ankara, as cited by Hurriyet.

“What do you expect? Should we wait for you? We take care of ourselves in every security point. We are taking precautions and we will continue to do so,” the Turkish leader said.

Erdogan criticized the reluctance of US and Israel to authorize supply of combat drones to Turkey as another example of how Turkish security was sidelined by its allies.

“When they did give [drones], their repair and maintenance put us in a difficult position. Now [Turkey] has come to a point where it can produce its own unmanned, armed air vehicles. And now they are uncomfortable with that,” Erdogan added.

Erdogan also dismissed issues of interoperability, brand loyalties or the geopolitical optics of such a sale. “Nobody has the right to discuss the Turkish republic’s independence principles or independent decisions about its defense industry,” the daily newspaper Hurriyet reported him as saying.

“We make the decisions about our own independence ourselves,” he said. “We are obliged to take safety and security measures in order to defend our country.”

As the NYT adds, Erdogan’s announcement — made to Turkish journalists aboard his presidential jet as he returned from Kazakhstan — appeared timed as a response to two judicial cases announced last week in the United States. One is against his presidential bodyguards, who are charged with assaulting protesters when Mr. Erdogan visited Washington this year. The other is against a group of Turks, including a former minister, accused of breaking United States sanctions against Iran. Erdogan has angrily criticized both cases.

* * *

The S-400 SAM is designed to detect, track and then destroy aircraft, drones or missiles. It’s Russia’s most advanced integrated air defense system, and can hit targets as far as 250 miles away. Russia has also agreed to sell them to China and India, both nations who are masters at reverse engineering.  Most concerning for NATO, however is that the systems delivered to Turkey would not have a friend-or-foe identification system, which means they could be deployed against any threat without restriction.

Turkey has been weighing options for acquiring long-range SAMs for years. In 2013, Ankara surprised other NATO members by announcing that it was going to purchase the FD-2000 system from China, sparking criticism from Washington. Defense observers speculated that Turkey played the China card to put pressure on its allies and get better terms for buying a NATO-compatible SAM system, such as the US-made Patriot PAC-3. The Chinese deal stalled and was eventually scrapped, with Turkey reportedly unhappy over Beijing’s reluctance to hand over the technology behind the advanced system. Last year Ankara announced that it was in talks with Russia over a potential purchase of the S-400.

Turkey has other reasons for the missile purchase. It needs to cultivate good relations with Russia, and it also needs to build its own military defense, said Asli Aydintasbas, a fellow at the European Council on Foreign Relations. “Turkey wants the deal,” she said, “and Russia is only too happy to drive a wedge into the NATO alliance.”

While NATO’s collective defense should have been sufficient for Turkey - NATO deployed Patriot missiles there during a rise of tensions with Syria in the past - Erdogan lost trust in the West since last year’s failed "coup attempt", which he slammed repeatedly as a Western plot to oust him, and appears determined to secure his own defense.

Furthermore, the transfer of technology from Russia is attractive to Turkey: Erdogan has spoken also of his frustration at having requests to the United States for drones turned down, and of his satisfaction that Turkey developed its own.

Notably, Erdogan’s announcement of the deal with Russia came after Germany said that it was suspending all major arms exports to Turkey because of the deteriorating human rights situation in the country and the increasingly strained ties. “We have put on hold all big requests that Turkey sent to us, and these are really not a few,” the German foreign minister, Sigmar Gabriel, said during a panel discussion in Berlin on Monday, according to Reuters.

While the purchase of Russian missiles will take cooperation between the two nations to a new level, but is not the first time that Turkey has bought military equipment from Russia. It turned to Moscow in the early 1990s to buy military helicopters and armored personnel carriers. Last year, Russia and Turkey reached an agreement to revive a suspended natural-gas pipeline project.

Meanwhile, as the US military-industrial complex has flourished in recent months following a spike in deals with Saudi Arabia, South Korea and other nations courtesy of rising geopolitical tensions, Russia has remained largely squeezed out of the arms market in Western and Eastern Europe, even in countries that once bought nearly all their weapons from the Soviet Union, has looked for years to NATO’S eastern flank as a promising market and the alliance’s weakest link. It has also sold weapons to Greece, another NATO member and to Cyprus, which is not a member of NATO but houses British military bases and effectively serves as an outpost of the alliance.

Meanwhile, as Turkey's suspicions toward the West have grown, relations with Russia warmed, driven by the personal relationship between Erdogan and Vladimir Putin. Erdogan has expressed personal admiration for Putin, to the consternation of many European and American leaders, if not President Trump. Erdogan has also shown a preference for the Russian model, with its sense of restoring a lost empire, returning Turkey to a more independent place in the world and rejecting Western democracy.

At the same time, the fact that Turkey belongs to NATO has only increased Mr. Putin’s desire to forge strong relations with Mr. Erdogan despite their differences over the conflict in Syria.

“Mr. Putin and myself are determined on this issue,” Erdogan told journalists about the missile deal.

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Jim in MN's picture


Looney's picture


Erdogan ain’t no angel, but Turkey is/was a very important ally.

0bama fucked up that relationship big time! Trump doesn’t seem to even care about it.

That’s why Erdogan has shifted toward Russia and China.

I wonder when he will pull out of NATO altogether.   ;-)


skbull44's picture

The more you tighten your grip, the more star systems will slip through your fingers...

GUS100CORRINA's picture

"What Did They Expect?" Turkey Pivots From NATO, Signs Russia Missile Deal

My response; Setting the stage for the GOG and MAGOG War (Eze38-39). Interesting to say the least!

Below is a list of name references in Eze38-39 and modern day equivalent.


Ancient Name -=======================  Modern Nation

Rosh (Rashu, Rasapu, Ros, and Rus) ======  Russia

Magog (Scythians) ================= Central Asia and possibly Afghanistan

Meshech (Muschki and Musku) ==========  Turkey

Tubal (Tubalu) ======================== Turkey

Persia =============================== Iran

Ethiopia (Cush) =======================  Sudan

Libya (Put or Phut) ====================  Libya

Gomer (Cimmerians) =================== Turkey

Beth-togarmah (Til-garimmu or Tegarma) =  Turkey

Shhh's picture

Big change ahead. If Turkey joins Russia , natural gas can not flow from Israel thru Turkey to Israel. The loss of Turkey from Nato Israeli axis is huge.

DjangoCat's picture

True that.  NATO should have taken more care in setting up the coup.  Major fail.

French Bloke's picture

You can bet that if Russia is selling Turkey this system, they've got something better themselves, and a way around the system for their aircraft....

toady's picture

I was hoping that Trump could work with the Russians to take over all the M.E. bullshit...

nufio's picture

cue msm propaganda about how erdogan is a dictator involved in mass genocide and how regime change in turkey is needed. for the children of course.

evoila's picture

US tried to overthrow Erdogan, but the Russians tipped him off, and then folded him into their sphere of influence. We're getting rusty at this game. 

OverTheHedge's picture

I think you may need the Gatekeeper.

Gozer the Traveller, he will come in one of the pre-chosen forms. During the rectification of the Vuldronaii, the Traveller came as a large and moving Torb! Then, during the third reconciliation of the last of the Meketrex Supplicants they chose a new form for him... that of a Giant Sloar! many Shubs and Zulls knew what it was to be roasted in the depths of the Sloar that day I can tell you."

justa minute's picture

sorry misreading your Bible again, the invasion already happened, and they came into a land of unwalled villages, that part cant be fulfilled now because israel is the most walled up place on earth. that was fulfilled in 1948, israel is gog just look at their flag with the star of rempham on it.

The_Juggernaut's picture

Have these Russiam SAMs ever taken a modern plane out of the sky?

Mike Masr's picture


A Russian made S-125 Neva/Pechora was used in the former Yugoslavia. It took out a US F-117A Stealth Aircraft On March 12, 1999.

The Serbs sent the wreckage to Moscow. Photographs show that the aircraft struck the ground at low speed in an inverted position, and that the airframe remained relatively intact.

Since then Russia has made missile systems developed with new anti-stealth technologies.




oldone's picture

you forgot to mention was an 1961-1964 old missile - almost 4 decades older then F-117... this fact tell a story about how good are the russians at missile systems...

And remember, they always keep the best cookies for themselves - export variants are a bit less then those for home defense.

justa minute's picture

misreading your Bible again, you need to stop listening to the false prophets, and they came into a land of unwalled villages, that part cant happen now as israel is the most walled up place on earth, it happened in 1948 fake israel is gog, look at their flag with the star of rempham on it 666

Volkodav's picture

      is that you Hal Lindsey?   sorry but your list is terrible

      Gen 10 2-5  there examine Japeth Family are named

      start there for learning


      Firstly, Ros is nothing to do with Russia  that is ignorant several way

      some like this confusion from Schofield and other recent suspicious origins

      too much easy assumpitons, and favor sometimes mistaken later writers of history

      while ignore histories in stone by Leaders of  Kingdoms of the actual time.


      Scythians, Cimmerians related people and fair European types as burials evidence 

      There is no dispute Scythians with Euro Type features which DNA agree

      absolute are not Japeth descendant Turkic type


     These appeared mysteriously exact same region where Israel Ten Tribes became "lost'

     after threw off Assryian captivity of 721 BC all within near few years... to 710BC

      appearance Scythian and related tribes...only one explanation is logical these were same people

     There are very good accounts in cuniform and stone mountainside of these peoples..

     About 710 BC these Scythian, Cimmerian, and related tribes named in several languages appear

     Better check timeline Scripture the four Assyrian invasions, captive of Ten Tribes, which also

     included much of Judah except left Jerusalem city and a few small. Very much overlooked fact.

     Assyrians came under pressure, weakened, the Israelites escaped, went out...

     mostly to north and west, across east Asia,China, Mongolia...the westbound groups eventual far

     British Isles....Scottish Declaration of Independence states forefathers from Greater Scythia

     Ireland is strong identity Cimmerians, in tradition, literature and song.

     too many to list here myself, but found this reasonable explains:





















Thordoom's picture

I don't think that Russia or China would want that . They will be happy to keep the loon there for disraption of NATO. I wonder when they actually join SCO.

johnnycanuck's picture

He's not the only Loon in the Nato block these days. Nato is little more than another branch of Washington's International Expeditionary Force now and therein lies the problem. 

Mr. Pain's picture

"I wonder when he will pull out of NATO altogether."



Hans-Zandvliet's picture

I think, Erdogan might be preparing to leave NATO, but before he does, he wants to have his air defence ready against NATO's wrath. It would make a lot of sense from Turkey's point of view.

  • The US would like to establish a Kurdish state in the north of Syria, just to prevent Assad from unifying his nation ("divide and rule": balkanisation). But Turkey with its large Kurdish minority in south-east Turkey is hell-bent on preventing that from ever happening. So NATO (having turned 'friends' with the Syrian Kurds) is no longer in Turkey's interest.
  • Besides, which country would like to have a balkanized country run by terrorists as its neighbour. Erdogan belatedly may have realized he'd be better off siding with Russia to end the aggression agains Syria. As he found out via this coup against him, the very same terrorism might be turned against him.
  • Moreover, Turkey is economically heavily dependent on Russia: nearly half Turkey's tourism sector depends on Russians and (since Russia closed its borders to EU agricultural products) a large part of Turkey's agricultural exports go straight north.

In a few months or years we might read the bombshell news that Erdogan jumps out of NATO overnight. If the US doesn't get its thermonuclear bombs out of the Incirlic airbase quickly, they might even fall into Turkish hands (ready for immediate use).

Nobody For President's picture

So supposedly the US has 'about' 50 B-61 tactical nucs at Incirilik Air Base at this time, under the command of the 39th Air Base Wing = co a bird colonel.


That's .3 to 340 KT (dial a yield) each.


Are they still there? And if so, why?

Write your congressperson? Your local Air Force General? Any sane person in the US Gubernmint?

This is a WTF of the highest order that can't even make page 17 (or a 30 second sound bite) on any MSM outlet.

I sometimes believe we are so fucked.

earleflorida's picture

this is realy 'rich'!

"Erdogan criticizes the reluctance of US and Israel to 'AUTHORIZE' supply of combat drones to Turkey,[...]!

OverTheHedge's picture

I spotted that, too. Is this final admition of NATO command structure?

peopledontwanttruth's picture

Don't be surprised as old family bloodlines realign themselves with familiar family.
Blood is thicker than water

Freddie's picture

The entire US Govt is corrupt including the PEntagobn and especially NATO.  Turkey is no angel and Turkey and NATO are fully responsible for the genocide in Syria plus State Dept, CIA, Deep State, etc.

Making Merica Great Again's picture

Obama had nothing to do with erdogan. Erdo was already there when obama was elected.

It was Bush who released Erdo to the world.

Mike Masr's picture

Turkey should join the SCO!

caconhma's picture

Games, games, games.

Sometimes ago, Greece bought S-300 from Russia. Next, US military and Israelis were invited to study/investigate S-300 capabilities and ways to nullify its usefulness. Then,  Prostitutin sold S-300 to Syria who discovered that the system is totally useless against Israelis: the S-300 just did not see Israeli jets flying over there heads.

Turkey's Erdogan knows this. Now you know why Turkey buys S-300 and who is partially paying for it.

By the way, China is buying SU-35 Russia fighter jets in quantities of 5-7 to conduct reverse-engineering and start mass-production of their own domestic copy/version of SU-35. Then China will sell these planes to international customers ruining Russia own SU-35 sales.

This is how the Great Prostitutin pays chess.

oldone's picture

are a mistake (more then one...) on what you wrote... Turkey bought S400  - another generation.

Second, you forgot those S300 on Syria are manned by russians.

And the USraeli do not enter Syria, lately, that you miss - they launch the attacks from Lebanese air space.


venturen's picture

Obama was the worst American geo-politcal leader...EVER

Ignatius's picture

From another angle this deal allows an ostensible ally to acquire Russia's current military technology for NATO perusal.

If the attempted coup in Turkey was 'real', then this deal is likely what it appears to be: Turkey taking care of itself.

DjangoCat's picture

"If the attempted NATO led coup in Turkey was 'real',"

fixed it for you.

SantaClaws's picture

"From another angle this deal allows an ostensible ally to acquire Russia's current military technology for NATO perusal."

My thought exactly.

But such a sale suggets that Russia must be near completion of an S-500 system, which would render the S-400 essentially obsolete.

HowdyDoody's picture

The systems Russia sells are export versions which are a significant downgrade from the domestic versions they use to defend themselves. That is why they are not too concerned about NATO looking into the systems even Turkey acquires.


johnnycanuck's picture

The S400 is an upgraded S300 and Greece has had those for years.

johnnycanuck's picture

Dick Cheney and the Dub were so much better at following neocon doctrine than Bama. Is there any limit to Republican voters stupidity?

DogeCoin's picture

You can't trust the Turks. They play everyone.

c2nnib2l's picture

well that's kind of true 


Turks main upset is EU and Merkell not the US 

Volkodav's picture

       not exactly 

       but that you hear from media

JimmyJones's picture

BS, every countries leaders should be looking out for their own people, I wish I could say the same for our so called "Leaders".  Globalist traitors.

earleflorida's picture


but it is Afghanistan and Turkey as the gateways to western europe and asia*

Cautiously Pessimistic's picture

.... and the band played on.  

Duc888's picture



Looking at a map, they should never have been in NATO.  "North Atlantic"...and all that...

Freddie's picture

NATO - think mafia plus crony jobs for pretend soldiers and generals plus endless weapons purachses paid for by taxpayers.

NATO plus Sweden and others have not protected their borrders or citizens from rape savages. .

caconhma's picture

Every animal knows that it must protect/defend its territory. Otherwise, the animal is condemned to death!

Too many Europeans and Americans just forgot this simple truth assuming that government bureaucrats know better and will always save/protect them.

youngman's picture

have you ever tried to buy a rug from them....they are scum....but I but Putin has a back ddor built into the guidance system...just for safety reasons..