Duvar English / Reuters
President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said on Jan. 15 that Turkey was in talks to procure a second shipment of S-400 missile defense systems from Russia and would hold talks on the issue later this month.
"We have completed the work on the delivery of the first S-400 batch, now our dialogue with Russia on the second regiment continues," Erdoğan told reporters.
He described the United States’ approach towards Turkey on F-35 fighter jets as a "serious mistake," expressing hope that positive steps will be taken on Turkey's role in the F-35 jet program once U.S. President-elect Joe Biden takes office.
Last month, Washington imposed long-anticipated sanctions on Turkey's defense industry over its acquisition of S-400 missile defense systems from Moscow, in a move Turkey called a "grave mistake".
The United States has also removed fellow NATO member Turkey from the F-35 program over the move.
Washington says the S-400s pose a threat to its F-35 fighter jets and to NATO's broader defense systems. Turkey rejects this, saying S-400s will not be integrated into NATO and purchasing them was a necessity as it was unable to procure air defense systems from any NATO ally on satisfactory terms.
"No country can determine the steps we will take toward the defense industry, that fully depends on the decisions we make," Erdoğan said.
"We don't know what the Biden administration will say at this stage (on the S-400s)," he added. "Despite having paid a serious fee on the F-35s, the F-35s still have not been given to us. This is a serious wrong the United States did against us as a NATO ally," he said.
"My hope is that, after we hold talks with Biden as he takes office, we will take much more positive steps and put these back on track."
Biden will be inaugurated on Jan. 20, replacing incumbent Donald Trump, with whom Erdoğn had a close relationship. Ankara has said it hopes for better with Washington then.