Erdogan: Turkey not backtracking on S-400 deal with Russia

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Turkey would not withdraw from a deal made with Russia to buy an S400 missile defense system. (Presidential Press Service via AP)
Updated 04 June 2019

Erdogan: Turkey not backtracking on S-400 deal with Russia

  • ‘We have made an agreement (with Russia). We are determined. There is nothing like backtracking from that’

ISTANBUL: President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Tuesday Turkey would not withdraw from a deal made with Russia to buy an S-400 missile defense system despite pressure from the United States.

“We have made an agreement (with Russia). We are determined. There is nothing like backtracking from that,” Erdogan was quoted as saying by the official Anadolu news agency.

Ankara’s desire to buy the Russian S400 system has been a major source of contention between NATO allies Turkey and the United States, which has threatened sanctions.

Last week, a top Pentagon official said the consequences would be “devastating” for Turkey’s joint F-35 fighter program and its cooperation with NATO if the country goes ahead with plans to buy the Russian missile defense system.

Kathryn Wheelbarger, Acting Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs, said Ankara’s planned purchase of the S-400 would damage Turkey’s ability to work with the Western alliance, and force Washington to hit the country with sanctions.

She said that the US administration, even if it does not want to punish Turkey for the purchase, could be forced to do so by a Congress unsympathetic to Ankara.

Turkey has defied the mounting pressure and said the purchase was a “done deal.”

Erdogan on Wednesday spoke with US President Donald Trump by phone and, according to the Turkish leader’s office, they discussed Ankara’s previous offer to form a “joint working group” on the missile system.


UK resumes flights to Egyptian resort of Sharm El-Sheikh 

Updated 31 min 6 sec ago

UK resumes flights to Egyptian resort of Sharm El-Sheikh 

  • TUI flight from London’s Gatwick Airport to Egyptian resort town greeted with celebrations
  • Travel halted in November 2015 following bombing of Russian airliner

LONDON: After almost five years of tourist restrictions to Sharm El-Sheikh, the first flights from Britain have resumed.
Travel to the popular Egyptian holiday destination was halted in November 2015 following the bombing of a Russian airliner immediately after take-off. All 224 passengers and crew on board were killed.
A TUI flight from London’s Gatwick Airport to the Egyptian resort town was greeted with celebrations when it landed on Sunday. 
One passenger told The Guardian newspaper that fire engines sprayed celebratory water jets over the plane as it taxied across the runway.
TUI, Britain’s biggest travel agency, announced in 2019 that flights to Sharm El-Sheikh would resume in February. 
Before the UK’s Foreign Office and Department of Transport imposed restrictions on Britons flying to the resort, the Red Sea destination had enjoyed hundreds of British tourists every year. 
But the ban required tourists to embark on multiple flights or take a ferry from Hurghada. Now-defunct airline Monarch blamed the restrictions on its decline. 
Despite the celebratory arrival of the TUI flight, heavy security measures remain in place in Sharm El-Sheikh.