Turkey’s Erdoğan says U.S. is not playing fair with Turkey, relations unhealthy

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan accused the United States of not being honest with Turkey over the delivery of advanced fifth-generation F-35 fighter jets, which harmed US-Turkey relations, CNN Turkish reported on Thursday.

Erdoğan said that Turkey’s ties with the U.S are not "healthy". 

“I can't really say that the Turkish-American relations are healthy at the moment,” the Turkish president told journalists.

The Turkish president said the U.S administration is not being fair to Turkey.

“We bought the F-35s and paid $1.4 billion dollars," he said. "However, these F-35s were not delivered to us. America needs to fix this once and for all. “

Erdoğan said that Turkey will not back down from its purchase of advanced S-400 air defence missile systems from Russia.

“For us, the S-400 issue is finished. We cannot take a step back from here," he said. 

Erdoğan also said the U.S is dishonest over the S-400 issue while his country was honest. 

“Turkey’s stance is honest, but unfortunately America did not act honestly and continues to do so.”

The U.S. formally ended Turkey’s role in the joint production of the fifth-generation F-35 aircraft in 2019, following tensions over Ankara’s decision to purchase S-400s. 

Erdoğan, in the same interview, also added that his country would choose whatever weapon systems it needs for self-defense.

"I hope that as two NATO allies, we treat each other friendly, not with an animosity," he said. "The state of affairs do not bode well between the two NATO allies for the time being." 

Erdoğan claimed that in his 19 years in power he "worked well" with U.S. presidents George W. Bush, Barack Obama, and Donald Trump. However, he added, "I can't say that we had a good start with Mr. Biden."

The Turkish president previously criticized the United States in a CBS interview that's scheduled to be broadcast on Sunday. 

“The United States should do more to help Afghan refugees,” Erdoğan said in remarks that aired on Wednesday. He also accused Washington of failing to meet its responsibilities on the matter.

“Right now, the U.S. is failing to meet its obligations. We have more than 300,000 Afghan refugees and we will no longer be able to afford to welcome any more Afghan refugees in Turkey,” the Associated Press cited Erdoğan as saying.

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