April 30, 2019
ANKARA (Reuters) – Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan said on Tuesday that an F-35 fighter jet project without Turkey was bound to collapse, and added that Ankara was being treated unfairly over the project.
Turkey plans to buy Russian S-400 missile defense systems, straining ties with the United States, which has said they would compromise the security of the Lockheed Martin F-35 jets. Ankara is both a prospective buyer of F-35s and also a partner in their production.
Speaking at a defense industry fair, Erdogan said those trying to exclude Turkey from the F-35 project had not thought it through and added that Ankara was rapidly taking steps to develop its own air defense systems.
(Reporting by Tuvan Gumrukcu and Ece Toksabay; Editing by Dominic Evans)