ISTANBUL, Turkey (North Press) - According to reports from Murted air base in Ankara, Turkish Armed Forces tested S400 air defense system on American military aircraft, which observers considered a message of provocation.
On Tuesday, several sources from the journal Fighter Jets World said that the Russian S400 air defense system was tested on American F-16 Viper and F-4 Phantom II aircraft in the Murted airbase.
The same source added that the American fighters were observed near the air base, where radar is stationed to discover rapid air targets flying at low altitude, and that the tests will continue until the 26th of July.
On this Turkish move, and its boldness in conducting tests on American aircraft, Turkish political analyst Ibrahim Agha Oglu explained to North Press that "Turkey's testing of S400 systems on American aircraft is a turning point in relations between Ankara and Washington. "
He added, "In addition to revealing the effectiveness of both the Russian system and the American F35 plane, Ankara is forced to obtain other alternatives if it does not obtain this American plane. For Turkey, the blame falls on its allies who left it no other option but to buy the Russian system in light of the urgent need to protect its borders, while Americans refused to provide it with the Patriot defense system.”
USA suspended Turkish participation in the F35 Fighter program in in July 2019 in response to Ankara's purchase of the S400 system from Russia.
Agha Oglu said, "Washington suspended the delivery of the F35 plane to Turkey, but Ankara seeks to balance the S400 and F35 planes as a partner in the project of producing this plane…it also seeks to obtain the American Patriot system, therefore it is trying to balance relations between Washington and Moscow very delicately.”
He added that although Ankara believes that it did not pledge not to buy and deploy the Russian system, it did not close all doors to the West and believes that it urgently needs to protect its borders, revealing the nature of Turkey's relationship with NATO. Perhaps the most influential issue in this relationship are the Turkish operations in northeastern Syria - Turkey believes that the positions of its allies regarding this operation have not lived up to its ideals.
Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said in statements that Turkey cannot cancel the deal with Russia, adding that America did not give Turkey the Patriot system, so they concluded a deal with Russia.
Amid Turkish obstinacy, the results of receiving the Russian S400 system are still affecting the interactions between Washington and Ankara, while observers see that America does not want Turkey to move away from the West and deal with Russia. However, Turkey continues to provoke Washington, and has hinted several times about its intention to purchase weapons from Russia following the F35 aircraft crisis with America.
Being close to Moscow
Agha Oglu sees that dealing with Russians is more comfortable for Turkey, especially after receiving the missile system and the Sochi agreement regarding Syria, and the desire of Turkey to buy Russian Sukhoi 35 and 57 aircraft, which will widen the distance between Ankara and its western allies and bring it closer to Moscow.
Observers believe that Turkey is challenging America, which will affect Turkish internal politics, especially as the Turkish public no longer accepts the provocations between Turkey and its neighbors because of its negative reflections on the Turkish economic situation. This comes amid voices demanding Erdogan care about internal affairs instead of establishing alliances with parties at the expense of others.
Agha Oglu pointed out that "the S400 deal is a strategic shift in Turkey's relations, as it is strengthening its relations with Russia, the traditional enemy of NATO in which Turkey is a member. This explains Washington's soft cooperation with Ankara, so that Turkey will not strengthen its relations with Moscow."
On July 25, 2019, Turkey received the first batch of the Russian S400 defense system, despite U.S. threats to impose economic sanctions on Ankara.