President Tayyip Erdogan said on Friday Turkey would turn elsewhere for fighter jets if the United States will not sell it the F-35 jets, adding that a US decision to cut Ankara from the programme would not deter it from meeting its needs, reported Reuters. The United States said last week it was removing NATO ally Turkey from the F-35 programme, as long threatened, after Ankara purchased and received delivery of Russian S-400 missile defences that Washington sees as a threat.
Washington has also threatened to impose sanctions on Turkey, though Ankara has dismissed the warnings. It has instead put its trust in sympathetic comments from US President Donald Trump, who has said that Turkey was treated “unfairly”.
However, Trump has not ruled out sanctions on Turkey. Erdogan, speaking publicly about the strained US ties for the first time in 11 days, said he hoped US officials would be “reasonable” on the question of sanction. —Reuters