Germany shares U.S.’ concerns on Turkey’s S-400 purchase – ambassador

Germany's ambassador to Ankara said that his country shares the concerns of its alliance partners for Turkey’s planned purchase of the Russian S-400 defence system and added that Germany would be pleased if Turkey can resolve its problems on the matter with the United States, Deutsche Welle Turkish reported on Monday.

“We foresee that Turkey remains firmly in the Western alliance. It is therefore a great concern for the acquisition of such a system by Turkey. We, as Germany, share the security concerns of our alliance partners. There is a possibility to acquire any weapon system within NATO, because NATO countries have national sovereignty over their decisions,” Martin Erdmann said at the 2019 Istanbul Security Conference organized by Başkent University and Konrad Adenauer Stiftung.

Turkey’s December 2017 deal to buy S-400 missiles from Russia has angered Washington, which says the weapons are not compatible with NATO systems and could be used to collect sensitive data that would undermine the defences of F-35 advanced fighter jets that Ankara also wants to buy from the United States.

"But when you acquire such a system, you need to consider the consequences, “ Erdmann said, adding that Turkey is the most important allied country for German. "Therefore, if Turkey can resolve its problems with the United States, we will be delighted, for example, the S-400 defence system, the F-35 fighter planes, and a reasonable solution to the Kurdish issue in northeast Syria.”

The ambassador stressed that Turkey belongs to the European family and Germany expect bold steps from Ankara on the matter.

Turkish Presidency Spokesman and senior adviser to the Turkish President Erdoğan, Ibrahim Kalın who was also present at the conference said that Turkey had been trying to purchase the U.S. Patriot missiles for the last 10-11 years and that the decision to purchase the Russian system was not made overnight.

Kalın stressed that Ankara "does not believe the S-400 will pose a threat to the NATO’s air defence system."

U.S. officials have warned that shipments of the F-35 jets to Turkey would be cancelled if Ankara goes ahead with the purchase and several bills have been introduced at Congress foreseeing to block the rest of F-35s if Turkey goes ahead with the procurement of the S-400 system.