Turkey’s Foreign Minister, Mevlut Cavusoglu said on Wednesday that the country’s administration will retaliate if the United States takes negative steps against it.
Mevlut said this when asked about the prospect of Washington imposing sanctions over Ankara’s purchase of Russian S-400 defense systems.
In an interview with Turkish broadcaster A Haber, Cavusoglu also said Turkey was open to alternatives to buying U.S. F-35 jets, including from Russia, after Ankara was suspended from the program over the S-400 purchase.
The most notable split has come over Turkey’s decision to proceed with the purchase of Russia’s top-of-the-line missile defense system, the S-400, seen as a threat to NATO defense systems and the U.S. F-35 stealth fighter jet.
However, the commander of U.S. European Command believes both countries have enough in common to salvage the relationship.
“The military-to-military convergence far outweighs the military-to-military divergence with the U.S. and Turkey and with NATO and Turkey,” General Tod Wolters told reporters during an appearance in Washington on Tuesday.
“I saw no cracks in the armor in Turkey’s willingness to work side by side as a NATO partner with us,” he added, referring to talks with Turkish officials during the recent NATO meeting in London. “That’s what I know from my foxhole.”