Turkish PM Erdogan will have a significant agenda at the forthcoming United Nations General Assembly meeting- he will be discussing his intentions of keeping Trump administration happy, as he floats the idea of buying a certain number of Patriots from the United States.
The Raytheon Co’s Patriot missile defense system was up for sale to Turkey till July this year, when Ankara bought the Russian S-400 missile systems instead. This move had invited the wrath of the US State Department which then said that the sale of the US Patriot missile defense system was off Turkish bounds.
But Erdogan has now indicated that Turkey will be interested in investing in both and would like to work out a method where both nations could look at joint production and some ‘favorable’ lending terms as well.
Trump did not seem all the offended when he sympathized with Erdogan during their conversations at the G-20 Summit in Osaka in June saying that he was sure Turkey had been forced to buy Russian systems as the former U.S. administration under Barack Obama had refused to sell Patriots to Turkey. The deal over the S400 systems was frozen in July.
Strangely, the Pentagon wasn’t happy with the purchase and Washington thereafter suspended Turkey’s participation in their joint production program of F-35 stealth fighters. They also jammed the delivery of almost 100 of the F-35 jets Turkey had purchased over concerns that S-400 missile systems in Turkey could allow a possible Russian subterfuge.
It is now confirmed that Trump is currently under pressure of bipartisan support in the U.S. Congress for further punitive measures against Turkey under the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act, or CAATSA.
Trump might not veto the U.S. Treasury’s decision to impose a heavy fine on Turkey’s state-run Halkbank for violating U.S. sanctions on Iran. But Erdogan has now only to rely on his personal bond and friendly relation with Trump as the leverage that could help Ankara win back trust with America that it has shaken up showing more favoritism to Russia military know-how.