Turkey negotiating over buying Patriot missiles

Turkey is continuing negotiations over the possible purchase of U.S. Patriot missile systems, pro-government newspaper Habertürk said, citing Foreign Ministry Spokesman Hami Aksoy.

Speaking at a press conference, Aksoy would not confirm press speculation that U.S. State Department officials would come to Turkey with an offer regarding the Patriots towards the end of the month.

Turkey had always come to its allies first over the past decade as it searched for a missile defence system, but to no avail, Aksoy said.

“Russia presented us with a very generous offer to meet our urgent needs, and finally it was agreed to procure the S-400 system from Russia,” Aksoy said.

“An important issue is that this system will be run on its own and that it cannot be integrated into NATO capacities. Our aim to develop a system that can work alongside NATO continues.”

There have been increasingly clear indications from the United States that the purchase of the S-400 system could provoke military sanctions on Turkey, as the system would be bought from Russian companies under a U.S. embargo. Concerns have also been expressed by General Petr Pavel, chairman of the NATO Military Committee.

“It is hard to imagine that Russian experts will be sitting in a NATO ally and feeding a Russian system with NATO data,” Pavel said.