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Turkey will take its own security measures after Russia defense deal: Erdogan

Turkey will take its own security measures after Russia defense deal: Erdogan
From Reuters - September 13, 2017

ANKARA (Reuters) - President Tayyip Erdogan on Wednesday dismissed NATO allies concern over Turkeys deal to buy a missile defense system from Russia and said Ankara would continue to take the security measures it thought right.

Turkey, whose relations with its allies have frayed in recent months, said it opted for the S-400 because Western companies had offered no financially effective alternative. But NATO officials have voiced disquiet over the purchase of missiles incompatible with alliance systems.

They went crazy because we made the S-400 agreement. What were we supposed to do, wait for you? We are taking and will take all our measures on the security front, Erdogan said in a speech in Ankara.

Western firms which had bid for the contract included U.S. firm Raytheon (RTN.N), which put in an offer with its Patriot missile defense system. Franco-Italian group Eurosam, owned by the multinational European missile maker MBDA and Frances Thales TCFP.PA, came second in the tender.

Turkey, with the second-largest army in the alliance, has enormous strategic importance for NATO, abutting as it does Syria, Iraq and Iran. But the relationship has become fractious.

Erdogan has been infuriated by Washingtons support forKurdish YPG fighters in the battle against Islamic State in Syria. Turkey sees the YPG as an extension of the militant Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), which has waged a three-decade insurgency in Turkeys largely Kurdish southeast.

GERMAN CRITICISM

The U.S. Pentagon said it had expressed concerns to Ankara about the Russian purchase.

A NATO interoperable missile defense system remains the best option to defend Turkey from the full range of threats in its region, spokesman Johnny Michael said in a statement.

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