Atlanta, United States (CNN) — In an interview with CBS, which aired Sunday, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that “no one can interfere” with whom Turkey buys defense systems from.
When Erdogan was asked about Turkey’s purchase of Russian S-400 defense systems in July 2019, despite US objections to the purchase, he said he had “made everything clear to President Biden,” noting that the US F-35s he paid for were Turkey has not been delivered, and the Patriot missile defense systems that Turkey requested to buy were not sold to it.
“No one can interfere with that,” Erdogan told CBS’s Margaret Brennan when asked about Turkey’s intentions to buy another batch of S-400s.
“I can be told, how will we take measures for security risks? Will we continue to expect to receive weapons from other countries that have not given us those weapons?”
“In the future, no one will be able to interfere with what kind of defense systems we require, from what country and at what level. Nobody can interfere with that. We are the only ones who make such decisions,” he continued.
The US F-35 fighter jet is an aircraft that the S-400 is designed to shoot down. In October 2020, following reports that Turkey had tested the Russian defense system, Pentagon spokesman Jonathan Hoffman said: “We object to Turkey’s purchase of the system, and are deeply concerned about reports that Turkey is operating it. It should not be activated… Doing so has serious consequences for our security relationship. Turkey has already been suspended from the F-35 program and the S-400 remains an impediment to progress elsewhere in the bilateral relationship.”