Turkey’s Erdoğan expects U.S. reactions on S-400s to calm down in time - report

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said on Friday the reactions from the United States over Turkey’s acquisition of Russian S-400 missile systems would continue for a while, but Turkey would stand firm and go ahead with plans, pro-government Türkiye newspaper reported.

The delivery of the first S-400 system Turkey purchased from Russia started on Friday and the fourth Russian cargo plane carrying hardware of the S-400 batteries landed at an airbase near Ankara on Saturday, the Ministry of Defence said.  

Turkey risks being expelled from the joint manufacturing programme of F-35 stealth fighter jets and further U.S. sanctions, after receiving S-400 surface-to-air defence systems.

Erdoğan discussed on Friday the S-400s with senior officials of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), Türkiye said. 

“According to sources, Erdoğan said that the voices in United States would get louder after the delivery of S-400s, adding that the government expected the relations (between Turkey and the United States) to normalise after a while,” Türkiye said. 

Erdoğan also noted that the U.S. President Donald Trump supported Turkey’s position during a bilateral meeting on the sidelines of G-20 summit in Osaka last month.

“In G-20 summit, we told Mr. Trump that our position about S-400s was clear. Mr. Trump told in front of the international press that we were right about this issue. They know how clear and serious we are about this issue,” Türkiye quoted Erdoğan as saying to party officials.

Trump said in Osaka that Turkey had been treated unfairly on S-400s, as the former U.S. government under President Barack Obama had declined to sell Turkey U.S.-made Patriot batteries.

Rating Agency Fitch said on Friday that U.S. sanctions would be relatively mild with minimal direct economic effect but the impact on sentiment could be significant.

Turkish lira hit record lows after Trump last year imposed sanctions on two Turkish ministers and doubled tariffs on Turkish metals due to a diplomatic row over the almost two-year detention of an America pastor.