Erdoğan shrugs off sanctions, vows to pursue Turkey's sovereign rights

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on Saturday dismissed sanctions against Turkey, vowing the country would continue to maintain its sovereign rights, state-run Anadolu news agency reported.

Those who threaten Turkey with sanctions will end up disappointed, Erdoğan said in a speech he delivered via video link at a highway opening.

"We are determined to put across that Turkey will never hesitate to use its sovereign rights," he added.

The Turkish president’s remarks arrive after the United States on Monday issued sanctions against NATO ally Turkey over its deployment of a Russian-made S-400 missile defence system acquired last year.

The sanctions target Turkey’s Presidency of Defence Industries, the country’s main defence procurement entity, as well as the group's head Ismail Demir and three other officers. The measures include U.S. visa restrictions and a freeze of financial assets.

Turkey is also facing sanctions from the EU.  Leaders of the bloc, at a summit earlier this month, agreed to prepare limited sanctions on Turkish individuals over a row with members Greece and Cyprus over hydrocarbon exploration in the eastern Mediterranean, but postponed discussions on any harsher measures until March.

Erdoğan on Saturday also said the country expected a "big breakthrough’’ on international investment in the coming days.