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

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.

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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.

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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.


Looney Jim in MN Wed, 09/13/2017 - 13:00 Permalink

  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.   ;-) Looney

In reply to by Jim in MN

GUS100CORRINA skbull44 Wed, 09/13/2017 - 13:17 Permalink

"What Did They Expect?" Turkey Pivots From NATO, Signs Russia Missile DealMy 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 NationRosh (Rashu, Rasapu, Ros, and Rus) ======  RussiaMagog (Scythians) ================= Central Asia and possibly AfghanistanMeshech (Muschki and Musku) ==========  TurkeyTubal (Tubalu) ======================== TurkeyPersia =============================== IranEthiopia (Cush) =======================  SudanLibya (Put or Phut) ====================  LibyaGomer (Cimmerians) =================== TurkeyBeth-togarmah (Til-garimmu or Tegarma) =  Turkey

In reply to by skbull44

OverTheHedge Shhh Wed, 09/13/2017 - 13:47 Permalink

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."

In reply to by Shhh

justa minute Shhh Wed, 09/13/2017 - 15:47 Permalink

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.

In reply to by Shhh

Mike Masr The_Juggernaut Wed, 09/13/2017 - 14:54 Permalink

Yes 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.https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1999_F-117A_shootdown  

In reply to by The_Juggernaut

oldone Mike Masr Wed, 09/13/2017 - 17:00 Permalink

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.

In reply to by Mike Masr

Volkodav GUS100CORRINA Wed, 09/13/2017 - 19:20 Permalink

      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:     https://lifehopeandtruth.com/prophecy/12-tribes-of-israel/12-tribes-of-israel-today/                   

In reply to by GUS100CORRINA

Hans-Zandvliet Looney Wed, 09/13/2017 - 13:47 Permalink

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).

In reply to by Looney

Nobody For President Hans-Zandvliet Wed, 09/13/2017 - 15:38 Permalink

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.https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/39th_Air_Base_WingThat's .3 to 340 KT (dial a yield) each.https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/B61_nuclear_bombAre 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.

In reply to by Hans-Zandvliet

caconhma Looney Wed, 09/13/2017 - 16:49 Permalink

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.

In reply to by Looney

oldone caconhma Wed, 09/13/2017 - 17:07 Permalink

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. 

In reply to by caconhma

youngman Wed, 09/13/2017 - 12:59 Permalink

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..