Ankara, Feb 27 : The Turkish President on Tuesday said that Turkey will not change course on buying the S-400 missile defence system from Russia, but the country could also accept a "good offer" on US Patriot missiles.
Changing course on Turkey's deal to purchase the S-400s is "definitely" out of the question, Recep Tayyip Erdogan told private channel. "Regarding the Patriot issue, if you [the US] provide us good conditions, we are open to that as well. We have to work with alternatives," Erdogan stressed.
After protracted efforts to purchase air defence systems from the US with no success, Ankara decided in 2017 to buy Russia’s S-400 air defence system, Anadolu Agency reported. Criticizing EU countries for attending a summit hosted by Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, Erdogan said EU leaders lecture Turkey about executions, then pose for pictures with a man who has executed 42 Egyptians since coming to power and nine young people only last week, referring to al-Sisi.
Egypt executed nine men on Feb. 20 who were accused of killing the country’s former top prosecutor. Hisham Barakat was assassinated in 2015 when a car bomb destroyed his vehicle.
Earlier this month, Egyptian authorities executed another six people in two separate cases for the murder of a judge’s son and a senior police officer. Egypt has remained beset by violence and turmoil since the army deposed Mohamed Morsi, the country's first freely elected president, in a 2013 coup.
He said “Turkey’s main goal now is completely clearing the terrorist PYD/YPG from Manbij, Syria, and their weapons will be taken back by the US as it promised.
He went on to say that Syrians trust Turkey so much that the tribes there constantly call for it to take action in Manbij. Turkey has vowed to carry out a counter-terrorist operation in Syria, east of the Euphrates, following two similar successful operations since 2016.
Ankara has repeatedly criticized the US for supplying weapons to the terrorist YPG/PKK, ostensibly for fighting the Daesh terror group, arguing that using one terrorist group to fight another makes no sense.