Turkey invariably insists that opposition from the United States and NATO over its controversial purchase of advanced Russian S-400 air defense missile systems is hypocritical since neighboring Greece never received such scrutiny for its past procurement of older S-300 missiles. Does Ankara have a point?
Since Turkey initially ordered S-400s back in 2017 it has repeatedly insisted it will use the system despite repeated warnings from the United States and NATO, which invariably cited incompatibility issues with the alliance’s Western-built hardware. Since taking delivery of the systems first components in July 2019 and then testing the system in November 2020, Ankara has been suspended from the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program and had Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA) sanctions imposed on it.
Following the November test, Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar reiterated Turkey’s stance that the U.S. and NATO’s opposition to Turkey’s S-400s and its testing of the systems isn’t justified.
“Every defense procurements includes tests and system controls,” he said. He added that the S-400s won’t be integrated with NATO networks but would instead be “used as a standalone system similar to the use of Russian-made S-300 weapons that exist within NATO.”
Read more: Forbes