Two allies exchanging sanctions and retaliation

By Ri Hyo Jin

The President of Turkey Erdogan expressed his stand on the sanctions imposed by the US because of the Turkey's purchase of the Russian S-400 antiaircraft rocket integrated system.

S-400 Triumf launch vehicle. (Photo Wikipedia)

He said wanted the US politicians to think rationally, adding if the US does not sell the F-35 fighters to Turkey, he will seek for another partner to procure fighters. He also warned that if the current sanctions lasted, he might rethink the purchase amounting to 100 Boeing planes of the US.

Observers are turning attention to Erdogan's stance announcement coincided with the time of decision by the US not to sell F-35 fighters to Turkey, and to let Turkey excluded from the NATO's F-35 fighter co-production plan.

F-35A Lightning II. (Photo Wikipedia)

First, if the US ceases selling the F-35 fighters, what kind of substitute will Turkey choose?

There is currently the fifth generation fighter Su-57 in Russia. The Su-57 is said to surpass the F-35 in many ways.

A prototype of the Su-57. (Photo Wikipedia)

It is necessary to recall the process how Turkey purchased the S-400 antiaircraft rocket integrated system.

Originally, for the purpose of advancing its anti-air capability, Turkey began negotiations a few years ago with the US and NATO member states to purchase anti-air weapon system. Turkey chose the Patriot interceptor missile system of the US as candidate.

A Patriot system. (Photo Wikipedia)

But NATO allies, including the US, made excuses of various kinds in the bargaining process, and turned down the request of Turkey at last. The buyer was constrained to turn its attention to Russia's S-400 antiaircraft rocket integrated system. It is cheaper than the Patriot interceptor missile system, and has a high demand internationally. Purchase bargaining went smoothly.

Turkey's foreign minister, in a television interview, disclosed that  the US administration officials often said of their faults resulted in the Turkey's failure in purchasing the Patriot.

To view based on the current situation, there is no guarantee that such a thing as above will not be reproduced also in the matter of the Turkey's purchasing of fighters.

Second, Turkey's reconsideration also about the issue of purchasing the Boeing planes is a big headache for the US.

The Boeing company is in a difficult situation where it may lose its status in the world's large passenger planes market, owing to frequent accidents of the Boeing 737 MAX series airplanes.

Boeing 737 MAX jets grounded. (Photo Wikipedia)

It is only a few months ago that the Japanese media including the Nihon Keizai Shimbun reported there might be a large scale wind of cancelling the purchase of Boeing airplanes.

The stock price of Boeing has plummeted, and there are demands of compensation in various countries for the damage related with Boeing accidents.

The other passenger airplane makers including the European Airbus are conducting a secret fight against Boeing company.

Turkey's cancellation of Boeing planes purchase may serve as another catalyst to inflate this situation.

Turkey's foreign minister made it clear the Turkeys stand. "In case the US shows us the hostile attitude by way of sanctions, we will take measures of retaliation as we have already made public. This is not a threat or a bluff."

* This is Google AI's translations of an article appeared in Rodong Sinmun dated August 12, 2019.

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