Turkey is one of the largest countries in the Middle East. Although it isn’t one of the world’s superpowers, politics in Turkey do, in fact, hold clout to the rest of the world.
According to reports that surfaced earlier today, on Tuesday, May 21, 2019, Turkey has been handed down an ultimatum by the United States government. Turkey can either choose to go through with an agreement that’s been in the making for several months, if not a few years, with Russia to purchase a full-fledged missile system from the European-Asian powerhouse and be sanctioned heavily by the United States or ink a wide-ranging arms deal with the United States to both satisfy its military needs and avoid sanctions from the world’s most powerful country, the United States.
Turkey’s current pending deal with Russia, which is worth some several billion dollars, must be canceled by June 7 in order to stay in compliance with the United States. Rather than purchasing a missile defense system from Russia, the United States has extended an offer to Turkey in which it can purchase a similar missile defense system from Raytheon, a U.S.-based company that manufactures such military systems domestically.
If Turkey doesn’t do what the United States wants the country to do, it will be rendered unable to purchase goods from Lockheed Martin by being removed from its F-35 program, be handed down several sanctions by the United States, face more potential issues from the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, and be required forfeit some 100 F-35 jets manufactured by Lockheed Martin that Turkey has already signed on to purchase.
The offer, which was officially made via the United States State Department, isn’t going to be revised any further, according to the handful of sources that spoke with CNBC.
Currently, Turkey is slated to receive the S-400 missile deployment and defense system, which is manufactured by Russia. According to military experts, the Russian S-400 is at odds with the NATO alliance, as well as the American weapons platform F-35, the most expensive in the entirety of the United States right now.
Turkey, which has long been a member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, would not be able to operate the Russian S-400 missile defense and deployment system with NATO systems, as the S-400 is not designed for such interconnectedness.
The U.S. State Department is said to have offered to sell Turkey its homemade Raytheon Patriot missile system in 2013 and 2017, though it declined both times.