Turkey may purchase Russian warplanes, says Erdoğan
Turkey may purchase Russian warplanes if the United States cancels the delivery of the F-35 fighter jets, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said on Tuesday.
Turkey did not ask anyone permission when buying the Russian S-400 missile system nor will not do so if it decides to acquire Russian fighter jets, pro-government Star newspaper quoted the president as telling reporters following a parliamentary meeting of his ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) in Ankara.
The United States in July removed Turkey from its F-35 fighter jets programme, after Ankara received the first parts of the Russian missile defence system citing security concerns on the coexistence of the F-35 and the Russian intelligence collection platform.
The move shut the door on Turkey’s planned purchase of 100 new F-35 fighter jets.
"If the F-35 issue is not resolved, we will take the necessary steps," Erdoğan said, referring to Russian fighter jets.
The head of the country’s Presidency of Defence Industries (SSB) İsmail Demir on Monday said Turkey was evaluating an offer by Russia to sell its Su-35 jets.
Turkish and Russian officials are discussing the details of the sale of a total of 36 Su-35 fighter jets to Turkey, pro-government Daily Sabah reported last month citing multiple reports.