Turkey’s President Erdogan appears to be waging a battle for both recognition and significance in the global arena. He has always loved a good fight, and as he is now in full fighting mode, wants to win.
The United States is calling on NATO to expel Turkey because they are now in possession of the Russian S-400 surface-to-air missile. Turkey signed and sealed a deal with Russia to get the missiles, and the first batch of brand new weapons have already been delivered to Turkish soil.
Asked about the S-400s, Kalin said: “This is not a defense system that would pose a threat or danger to our current security system, especially within the NATO system.” Why? Because, he said: “First of all, it is a defense system, not an attack system against another country, therefore it is not a threat to another country.”
The United States disagrees. It is not about defense, it is about weapons sales and technology. The United States is upset over Turkey’s possession of the S-400 because it signals a fracture in the NATO defense system. Turkey is embracing Russia. The United States is upset because this Russian system is not part of the NATO mechanism. More importantly, in buying arms from Russia, Turkey is signaling to the United States that they have lost a valued customer. And as a valued customer, Turkey received highly advanced US fighter jets.