“In the future, no one will be able to interfere in terms of what kind of defense systems we procure, from what country at what level. No one can interfere in it. We are the only ones who make such decisions, ”Erdoğan said.
He added: “Will we continue to expect delivery of weapons from other countries that did not give us these weapons?”
NATO fears that the deployment of Russia’s S-400 missiles alongside the F-35 would allow the S-400 to collect vital data about the aircraft it would not otherwise have access to, which could potentially compromise security.
Erdoğan discussed another point of contention with the United States, saying the United States should choose between supporting Turkey and offering support to Kurdish groups wishing to cut a state out of an area that includes parts of Turkey. The Kurdish forces had joined the United States and Turkey to fight ISIS forces in Syria.
Erdoğan called these Kurdish groups “terrorist organizations.”
“Receiving this kind of support should be stopped once and for all,” he said, adding: “Turkey is [a] NATO member and we are able to commit to creating solidarity under the auspices of NATO. But as long as the terrorist organizations receive such logistical support that makes us sad … we would say something about this. ”
The Turkish leader said he would like to see the remaining US forces withdraw from Syria, something that critics have said could give Turkey a free hand to persecute the Kurds.
Erdoğan was critical of US actions in Afghanistan. “With the U.S. footprint back to two decades, the region was no longer safe,” he told Brennan.
He also said that Turkey hopes to maintain some kind of relationship with the new Taliban regime in Afghanistan, even though it withdrew in the midst of the chaos that accompanied the US withdrawal there.
“We have historical ties with the Afghan people,” he said, “and we have always been very supportive of [Afghanistan] in an unprecedented way, unlike any other. And in terms of infrastructure, in terms of superstructure, we were involved in major investments that we will continue to make in the future. But because of the mistakes in the field, we had to withdraw our troops and evacuate our civilians. And right now we are not present in Afghanistan. ”
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