Erdogan Says Turkey Will Take Own Security Measures

Erdogan Says Turkey Will Take Own Security MeasuresErdogan Says Turkey Will Take Own Security Measures

President Tayyip Erdogan dismissed on Wednesday western concern over Turkey’s deal to procure an S-400 air defense system from Russia and said the NATO member will continue to take its own security measures.

“They went crazy because we made the S-400 agreement. What were we supposed to do, wait for you? We are taking and will take all our measures on the security front,” Erdogan said, Reuters reported.

Western governments have expressed concern over the deal as it cannot be integrated into the NATO system. Turkey has said that NATO allies had not presented a “financially effective” offer on alternative missile defense systems.

Erdogan said in July that the deal had been signed, although the deal appears to have been drawn out since then, due to issues over financing. Turkish media quoted Erdogan this week as saying he and Russian President Vladimir Putin were determined that the agreement should proceed.

The decision to procure the Russian system comes as Turkey finds itself frequently at odds with NATO allies, particularly the United States and Germany. Ankara has been angered by US support for the YPG Kurdish fighters in the battle against the self-styled Islamic State terrorist group in Syria.

The US Pentagon said it had expressed concerns to Turkey about the deal.

“We have relayed our concerns to Turkish officials regarding the potential purchase of the S-400. A NATO interoperable missile defense system remains the best option to defend Turkey from the full range of threats in its region,” spokesman Johnny Michael said in a statement.

  Over 1800 PKK Fighters Killed

In unrelated news, Turkish General Staff said in a statement released on Tuesday that more than 1,800 terrorists were killed by security forces over the last nine months, Anadolu reported.

 A total of 562 military operations, including land and air operations backed by drones and manned scout aircraft, were carried out at home and abroad from Jan. 1 to Sept. 10, 2017, according to a statement.

A total of 159 people were martyred during the operations, including 127 soldiers, 19 public servants, and 13 civilians, the statement said.

During the operations, 62 people were also injured, including 40 civilians and 22 public servants, it added. Turkish forces also destroyed a total of 887 shelters used by PKK terrorists.

More than 1,000 mines, 1,943 weapons, and over 630,000 pieces of ammunition were seized in the operations.

The PKK —listed as a terrorist organization also by the US and the EU— resumed its armed campaign against Turkey in July 2015.

Since then, it has been responsible for the deaths of some 1,200 Turkish security personnel and civilians, including a number of women and children.


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