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Turkey: Erdogan hits back over arms deal

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UPSOT BLAST Pen has been put to paper and a down payment has been made…Turkey has signed a deal on its first major weapons purchase from Russia, buying a series of S 400 surface to air missile defence systems. Its a deal though thats got the west up in arms, but President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has been quick to bite backSOT ERDOGAN “They went crazy because we made this missile defence agreement. What was supposed to happen? That we should have waited for them ? We have taken our precautions and we”ll continue to take precautions when it comes to our security and we”ll fend for ourselves”With the second largest standing army in NATO after the US, Turkey announced back in April that allies in the alliance had not put forward a ”financially effective” offer on alternative missile defence systems, and so Ankara had therefore gone ahead with this purchase.One NATO official has told the AFP news agency that the alliance has not been informed of the deal, while the Pentagon has added it voice to a chorus of other western concern.DLS PENTAGON STATEMENT”We have relayed our concerns to Turkish officials regarding the potential purchase of the S-400. A NATO inter-operable missile defence system remains the best option to defend Turkey from the full range of threats in its region”The contract between Ankara and Moscow is yet another sign of improving ties, after the shooting down of a Russian plane by the Turkish military back in 2015 soured relationsBut while the ink dries on this arms deal, Turkey may have to wait a while for delivery – with Russia already facing a high demand for S-400s from its own armed forces.

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