Erdogan: F-35 project to collapse without Turkey
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that an F-35 fighter jet project without Turkish participation was bound to collapse and would be an injustice to exclude Ankara over its plans to buy Russian air defense systems.
Speaking at the IDEF-2019 defense industry fair, the Turkish leader said those trying to exclude Turkey from the F-35 project had not thought through the process and that Ankara’s allies had disregarded its defense needs.
"Nowadays, we are being subject to a similar injustice - or rather an imposition - on the F-35s... Let me be open: An F-35 project from which Turkey is excluded is bound to collapse completely," Reuters cited Erdogan as saying.
Erdogan’s comments, his strongest challenge yet to warnings that Turkey could be removed from the F-35 project, came a day after he discussed the purchase of the S-400s and the working group proposal with U.S. President Donald Trump in a phone call.