Erdoğan says Turkey still considers purchase of U.S.-made Patriot missiles
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said on Thursday Turkey would not renege on plans to purchase S-400 missile systems from Russia and Ankara was still interested in buying U.S.-made Patriot batteries, pro-government daily Hürriyet reported.
"If the United States is going to give us Patriots, we can buy Patriots from them providing that our conditions are met. We made an offer to them," Erdoğan says in a press conference during his visit to Hungary.
Ankara signed a contract with Moscow worth a reported $2.5 billion in December 2017 for the purchase of the S-400s despite objections from its NATO allies, who are concerned that the system could collect data on NATO jets and undermine their defences.
Turkey's purchase of Russian S-400 missile systems is a done deal, Erdoğan said.
Turkish President also said Turkey planned to resettle the Syrian refugees in Turkey in a safe zone in northern Syria Ankara plans to establish and European countries should help its funding.
"We say that let's have an international donor meeting. Give us some support. Let's take a step here under the guarantee of the United Nations, we can do the construction work there," Erdoğan said.
Turkey launched a military offensive in northern Syria on Oct. 9 to remove Kurdish militia from territories along its border and seized the region between northeastern Syrian towns of Tel Abyad and Ras al Ayn, where it plans to establish a safe zone.
The military offensive ended after Russia and Turkey agreed on establishing a larger buffer zone that starts from the northwestern Syrian town of Manbij and stretches to Syria’s border with Iraq, and removal of Kurdish forces from the region.
Turkish Defence Minister Hulusi Akar on Thursday said Kurdish forces had not fully withdrawn from the region as agreed in a Russia-brokered accord.