Erdogan: Turkey will take care of itself if US doesn't send F-16 jets
The Turkish president defies Washington, assuring Ankara will take care of itself if the US does not respond regarding the F-16 jets.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan revealed that his country is not dependent on the F-16 fighter jets from the United States.
Turkey was notified by the US earlier about its exclusion from the program for the supply of advanced F-35 jets due to Ankara's purchase of Russian S-400 air defense systems.
After canceling the joint memorandum on the F-16 with Turkey, Washington signed it with the seven remaining partners - the UK, Italy, the Netherlands, Australia, Denmark, Canada and Norway.
The Turkish president subsequently revealed that the US invited Ankara to buy other fighters, but of the fourth generation F-16. The deal is in Washington's interest, according to the State Department which is actively lobbying for the deal, which must be agreed on in the US Congress.
"We have spoken to the Republicans, and we have received the support of the Republicans. If we can't get the results out of the United States about the F-16s, what are we going to do? Of course, we're going to take care of our own selves," Erdogan said in an interview with PBS.
Putin seeks to end crisis in Ukraine as soon as possible: Erdogan
According to Erdogan, whose interview with PBS was relayed by the newspaper Yeni Safak, Russian President Vladimir Putin wants to put an end to the Ukraine conflict as quickly as possible.
The Turkish leader recalled that he had a meeting with Putin in Uzbekistan and added that Ukraine must be in agreement with Russia.
He claimed that he is still hopeful about setting up a meeting between Putin and his Ukrainian counterpart Volodymyr Zelensky.
Erdogan also told PBS that Ankara does not intend to report to the EU for participation in the summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) in Samarkand.
Earlier, the Turkish leader said Ankara's goal is membership in the SCO. He stressed that Turkey is holding talks with all countries, because it is part of the world.