Fahrettin Altun, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s spokesman, has shot down the idea that Ankara should transfer its Russian-made S-400 air defense missile systems to Ukraine in exchange for Turkey receiving F-35 warplanes and Patriot missile batteries from the US. Kiev has been pleading for foreign aid to help it fight off the Russian military offensive.
“It is the responsibility of the West and especially the US to normalize relations with Turkey,” Altun wrote in a letter to the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) on Wednesday. He added that “what the West must do is deliver the F-35 fighter jets and Patriot batteries to Turkey without preconditions.”
The spokesman wrote that Washington’s removal of Turkey from the F-35 program in 2019 was “unlawful.” The US refused to deliver the promised planes after Ankara rejected its demand to scrap the purchase of S-400s.