Turkey purchased S-400 missile defense systems from Russia because the United States didn't sell Patriots to Ankara, Turkish Presidential spokesperson İbrahim Kalın said on Sept. 28.
"We wanted to buy Patriots with our own money. Our president said this countless times during [former U.S. President Barack] Obama's term. We said, 'We want to purchase Patriots just like other NATO countries did,'" Kalın told broadcaster Haber Global, noting that Turkey received four offers in the following process.
"We received four offers from China, Russia, Europe and the U.S. regarding four systems. Our criteria were known: Joint production, price and the delivery date. We had talks with China, but then we discontinued," he said.
According to Kalın, the U.S. thought that President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan was bluffing about purchasing the S-400s for a long time.
"When the issue got serious, they were irked. Eventually, we were forced to purchase the S-400s and we did," he said.
Moscow and Ankara inked a deal in 2017 on the delivery of the S-400 air defense system to Turkey, thereby making it the first NATO member to purchase this air defense missile system from Russia.
Ankara's purchase of the S-400s has strained ties with the United States and NATO allies over concerns that the systems are not compatible with the alliance's defenses and may threaten the U.S. F-35 fighter jets. Turkey, which was expelled from the jet program over the Russian systems, rejects the concerns.
Erdoğan in June said that he had told U.S. President Joe Biden at their first meeting that Turkey would not change its stance on its S-400s, prompting U.S. officials to warn Ankara on further sanctions.
Kalın on Sept. 28 said that Turkey still waits for the five F-35 jets that weren't delivered.