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Turkey has been moving away from America’s sphere of influence and improving its relationship with Russia, which was underscored by Turkey’s purchase of the Russian S-400 missile defense system despite US threats not to do so, says a political analyst in Virginia.
“There’s been tensions between the United States and Turkey in recent years over a number of issues pertaining to US policy in the Middle East,” said Keith Preston, chief editor of AttacktheSystem.com.
“American foreign policy has become increasingly hostile towards Russia in the last few years and the Turks do appear to view that as not being in their interest, in part because of their relatively close geographical proximity to Russia,” Preston told Press TV on Thursday.
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Friday vowed to go ahead with a deal to purchase Russian missiles despite Washington’s suspension of Turkey’s participation in a US jet program.
The US said on Monday it was halting all deliveries and joint work with Turkey on the F-35 fighter jet program if Ankara insisted on the deal.
Washington has suggested Turkey could opt for the US-produced Patriot missiles instead.
But Erdogan said although Ankara was keen to buy the US-produced missiles, “America was unfortunately not giving Patriots to us on the same terms” as Russia.
The row over the F-35 and the S-400 is the latest in a series of diplomatic disputes between Ankara and Washington.
Tensions have been escalating between the two NATO allies over issues including US support for Kurdish groups in Syria that Ankara says are responsible for terror attacks inside Turkey.
Washington and its NATO allies have strived to prevent the sophisticated Russian-built anti-aircraft weapon system from collecting information about the US-made all-weather stealth multirole warplanes, technically known as the Lockheed Martin F-35 fighters, just as they are gaining a foothold in Europe.
Erdogan has also slammed American officials for rejecting his requests to hand over Fethullah Gulen, a powerful opposition figure living in the US, whom Ankara accuses of having masterminded a coup attempt in July 2016.