Turkey on Dec. 14 roundly rejected new U.S. sanctions on the country over its missile defense purchases.
“We condemn and reject the decision to impose unilateral sanctions against Turkey as announced today by the U.S. in the context of Turkey’s acquisition of S-400 air defense systems,” the Foreign Ministry said in a statement.
“The conditions which compelled Turkey to acquire S-400 systems are well known. President [Donald] Trump himself has admitted on many instances that Turkey’s acquisition was justified,” the ministry added, referring to Turkey’s repeatedly rebuffed efforts to buy U.S. Patriot missiles.
US claims that the S-400 systems would jeopardize NATO systems are baseless, it said, adding that Turkey has repeatedly proposed addressing the issue in an objective, realistic, and politically unbiased manner through a working group with NATO participation.
“The U.S. recourse to unilateral sanctions, by refusing our proposal to solve this matter through dialogue and diplomacy as befitting two allies is completely senseless,” it added.
“Turkey will take the necessary steps against this decision, which will negatively affect our relations and will retaliate in a manner and timing it deems appropriate. Turkey will never refrain from taking the necessary measures to safeguard its national security,” it underlined.
It urged the U.S. to reconsider its unjust sanctions decision and avoid making a mistake.’
Turkey determined to achieve fully independent defense industry’
Turkey is determined to achieve a fully independent defense industry under the leadership of its President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, the head of the Turkish Defense Industries Presidency (SSB) said on Dec. 14.
“No decision taken abroad towards myself or our institution will change the stance of me or my team,” Ismail Demir tweeted after the US Treasury announced it is imposing sanctions on Turkey over its purchase of the Russian S-400 missile defense system.
“The sanctions will not be able to hinder the Turkish defense industry in any way,” he added.
Criticizing the move, Turkish Vice President Fuat Oktay said the sanctions will only boost the country’s determination on steps to strengthen its national interests and defense industry under the leadership of Erdoğan.
“No country’s sanctions will sway Turkey’s determined stance. We condemn this decision and call on the US to step back from this mistake as soon as possible,” Oktay said on Twitter.
Parliament Speaker Mustafa Şentop said the sanctions ill fit the spirit of alliance. “We will continue to take every step with determination necessary for the defense of our country,” he said on Twitter.
Presidential spokesman İbrahim Kalın also stressed Turkey’s determined stance in the face of sanctions, adding that Turkey will decisively continue to take steps to achieve its defense industry goals.
The U.S. Treasury Department on Dec. 14 imposed sanctions on Turkey over its purchase of the Russian S-400 missile defense system.
The sanctions, coming under the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA), target Turkey’s Defense Industries (SSB) Presidency, including its head Demir and three other officials.
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in a statement that the SSB knowingly engaged in a significant transaction with Rosoboronexport, Russia’s main arms export entity, by procuring the S-400 surface-to-air missile system.
“The sanctions include a ban on all U.S. export licenses and authorizations to SSB and an asset freeze and visa restrictions on Dr. Ismail Demir, SSB’s president, and other SSB officers,” he added.
President Donald Trump said in June 2019 that his predecessor President Barack Obama had treated Turkey unfairly when Ankara requested to purchase U.S. Patriot missile defense systems.
US sanctions on Turkey arrogantly flout int’l law: Lavrov
The U.S. decision to impose sanctions on Turkey over its purchase of Russian S-400 missile defense is a typical show of American arrogance and lawlessness, said Russia’s defense minister on Dec. 14.
“Of course, it’s yet another manifestation of an arrogant attitude toward international law and the use of illegitimate unilateral forcible measures the U.S. has used left and right for many years, even decades,” Sergey Lavrov told
a news conference in Bosnia and Herzegovina’s capital Sarajevo.
Such an approach does nothing for the credibility of the U.S. as a responsible participant in the international arena, including military-technical cooperation, he added.
Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif on Dec. 15 condemned U.S. sanctions against Turkey as “contempt for international law.”
“U.S. addiction to sanctions and contempt for international law at full display again. We strongly condemn recent U.S.
sanctions against Turkey and stand with its people and government,” Zarif tweeted.
Hurriyet Daily News