Turkey remains insistent on purchasing the S-400 missile defense system from Russia, despite warnings from the U.S. against it and concerns among European NATO allies. Why is it so insistent on doing so? TRT World analyst Yusuf Erim analyzes.
Story: The United States intends to remove Turkey from the F-35 fighter jet program, and will halt training of Turkish pilots on the advanced aircraft with immediate effect, Reuters reported on June 9. The move is part of US payback over Turkey’s deal to buy Russia’s S-400 missile defense system. Earlier this year, Washington suspended all deliveries and activities associated with the upkeep of Turkey’s F-35 operational capability. “This training will not occur because we are suspending Turkey from the F-35 program; there are no longer requirements to gain proficiencies on the systems,” reads the letter sent by acting US Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan to his Turkish counterpart. However the letter makes clear that Turkey, a NATO ally of the US, could reverse this course of action by calling off the deal with Russia. In February, US Vice President Mike Pence said that Washington “made it clear that we will not stand idly by while NATO allies purchase weapons from our adversaries. We cannot ensure the defense of the West if our allies grow dependent on the East.”