Ankara Purchase of S-400 Not Alternative to NATO Membership - Erdogan Spokesman

Ankara Purchase of S-400 Not Alternative to NATO Membership - Erdogan Spokesman

The purchase of Russian S-400 anti-aircraft missile systems doesn't mean that Ankara distances from NATO, Turkish Presidential Press Secretary Ibrahim Kalin said.

The S-400 is created to engage aircraft, unmanned aerial vehicles and cruise and ballistic missiles.

The S-400 Triumf, also known by its North Atlantic Treaty Organisation designation SA-21 Growler, is a mobile, long-range surface-to-air missile system manufactured by the Russian state firm Almaz-Antey.

While NATO states are displeased with Ankara-Moscow deal over supply of Russian S-400, Turkey assures that it will remain Alliance's close ally.

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"We have also asked for Loup Bureau's family to be granted access to visit him and you (Cavusoglu) have confirmed this to me and we have asked for an improvement in his prison conditions", Le Drian said.

"We make the decisions about our own independence ourselves, we are obliged to take safety and security measures in order to defend our country", he said.

His remark came after United States criticized Ankara's recent decision to purchase S-400 missile systems.

Kalin noted that Turkey is and will remain an important North Atlantic Treaty Organisation ally, Turkish media outlets reported on August 14. "The interoperability of our armed forces is fundamental to North Atlantic Treaty Organisation for the conduct of our operations and missions", North Atlantic Treaty Organisation spokesman Mark Sanders told CNBC via email. The official said no North Atlantic Treaty Organisation ally now operates the S-400 system.

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"Turkey's relations with the European Union will be reformed rapidly as of the first quarter of 2018".

Relations between Turkey and Germany have been tense for months, with Turkey accusing Germany of harboring people with alleged links to last year's failed coup as well as outlawed Kurdish militant groups. "We are responsible for taking security measures for the defence of our country", he said, according to the Hurriyet Daily News.

But Turkey appeared unfazed, announcing on the same day that it has made a downpayment for the Russian defense system. Ankara has been angered by US support for the YPG Kurdish fighters in the battle against Islamic State in Syria.

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