President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Wednesday that US sanctions imposed on Turkey over its purchase of Russian defence systems were an attack on Ankara’s sovereign rights aimed at deterring its defence industry, a move which he said was bound to fail.
On Monday, Washington imposed the sanctions targeting NATO member Turkey’s Defence Industry Directorate, its chief Ismail Demir and three other employees over its acquisition of Russian S-400 missile defence systems.
In his first public comments on the move, Erdogan said that problems stemming from the sanctions would be overcome and vowed to ramp up efforts towards an independent defence industry, while criticising Washington for sanctioning a NATO ally.
“What kind of alliance is this? What kind of partnership is this? This decision is an open hostile attack against our country’s sovereign rights,” he said in a televised address. “The real goal is to block the advances our country started in the defence industry recently and to once again render us absolutely dependent on them,” he added. “Surely there will be problems, but each problem will push open a door for us for a solution.”—Reuters