Turkey, Politics, World

US sanctions on Turkey harm alliance: Defense minister

Hulusi Akar condemns US decision to impose sanctions over Turkey's purchase of Russian missile defense system

Sarp Ozer and Ferdi Turkten   | 15.12.2020
US sanctions on Turkey harm alliance: Defense minister

ANKARA

The US decision to impose sanctions on Turkey has deeply shaken alliance values between the two countries, said the country’s defense minister on Tuesday, denouncing the move.

“We condemn this decision, which does not comply with alliance, current military, or political realities,” Hulusi Akar told Anadolu Agency.

The US on Monday imposed sanctions on Turkey over its purchase of the Russian S-400 missile defense system.

“This sanction decision has shaken all values of alliance between our countries,” Akar stressed.

Highlighting the air and missile threats that Turkey faces, he said the country is taking all measures to protect itself and its people.

“Obviously, sanctions on a NATO member country will not only undermine the spirit of alliance, but will deeply undermine trust among allies,” he said.

Akar said Turkey will continue its determined efforts to ensure the country’s security and urged Washington to return to cooperation with Ankara.

“Returning to cooperation and solidarity with the US, which has been our ally since the Korean War, on regional and global defense and security issues within the framework of the current military and political situation will also contribute to regional and global peace and security,” he concluded.

Separately, the Turkish National Defense Ministry condemned the US sanctions against Turkey.

It is clear that imposing sanctions on a NATO member country will undermine the trust among allies beyond damaging the spirit of alliance, the ministry said in a statement on Tuesday.

All necessary measures have been taken and will be taken for the safety of Turkey, which is under serious air and missile threats, as well as its 83 million citizens, it underlined.

"By doing this, we are fully fulfilling our commitments to all our allies, especially NATO. It is our right to expect our allies to see and understand the security needs of our country and nation," it added.

Turkey’s purchase of Russian S-400 missile defense system resulted from a necessity rather than a choice, it reiterated. 

"Our allies were informed that the S-400 will not be integrated into NATO systems or national systems connected to NATO systems, and will be used like Russian systems in other NATO countries."

"Our proposal to discuss the interaction of S-400s and F-35s in a working group including NATO, when necessary, is still on the table."

Imposing sanctions instead of discussing the solution of the problem is a step towards deadlock rather than a solution, it asserted.

"This sanctions decision has shaken all the values of the alliance between our countries. However, efforts to ensure the defense and security of our country and our noble nation will continue resolutely."

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