The United States and its NATO allies continue to express concerns over the Russia-Turkey deal on the delivery of the S-400 system. In an interview with Sputnik, retired Turkish generals commented on the issue and shared their thoughts on how this deal could affect Turkey-NATO relations.
What's Behind NATO Warnings
Speaking with Sputnik Turkey, Beyazıt Karataş, a retired Maj. Gen. of the Turkish Air Force and deputy chairman of the Patriotic Party (Vatan Party), suggested that Ankara’s decision to buy the Russian-made missile defense system was due to the "hypocritical stance" of the United States and NATO.
"Turkey has been a NATO member since the 1950s and the country still cannot receive a long-range air defense system it needs very much from the alliance. In the current situation, buying air defense systems from the US is impossible," Karataş pointed out.
Commenting further, the analyst explained that Russia-Turkey’s close cooperation is regarded as a danger by NATO countries, first of all by the US.
"Turkey’s rapprochement with Russia was motivated by the situation in the Middle East. A crisis in bilateral relations after a Turkish jet shot down a Russian bomber in November 2015 was quickly resolved and both countries started actively building cooperation," he said, adding that this cooperation is very important both in military and economic terms.
Talking about NATO’s pressure on Ankara over the S-400 deal, Karataş stressed that Turkey is a sovereign nation and no foreign country should meddle in the issue.
"Turkey is one of the key players in the region, and this is the reason behind this pressure," he added. "The delivery of the S-400 should be completed as soon as possible."
"Another problem for Washington is the fact that the S-400 deal would also contribute to developing military, trade and social ties between Moscow and Ankara," he said.
"Turkey’s national interests and its strategy in the Middle East do not coincide with that of the United States. Washington is supporting and arming the Kurdish self-defense units, an offshoot of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party which is labeled by Ankara as a terrorist group. The US policy contradicts with Turkey’s security. It is aimed at dividing Syria and Iraq, which has an immediate effect on the situation in Turkey," Babüroğlu pointed out.