Turkey’s defence minister denies plans to purchase Russian jets

The claims that Turkey will purchase Russian-made SU-35 fighter jets are a lie, Turkey’s Defence Minister Hulusi Akar told reporters on Tuesday.

The minister said, “We are F-35 partners, and we say give us what is rightfully ours,” Russian website Sputnik Turkish reported.

Turkish sources had said Turkey was close to reaching a deal with Moscow for the purchase of 36 fighter jets, and discussing the possibility for Turkey to manufacture some SU-35 components.

The United States had removed Turkey from the F-35 stealth fighter jet program following the delivery of Russian-made S-400 missile defence systems in July, citing incompatibility issues with NATO weapons systems and a security risk to U.S.-made weapons.

Delivery of the completed F-35 jets were halted following Turkey’s removal from the program.