President Erdogan hints at Turkey-Russia missile deal, criticises NATO

S-400 anti-aircraft weapon system.

On his flight back from Moscow, Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan spoke to journalists saying that his country might strike a deal with Russia on a missile defence system if such opportunities could not be found within NATO.

“We have seen the weapons of our NATO allies in the hands of terrorists in Syria,” Erdogan said referring to US support to the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF).

“Of course we are going to take our precautions on this. Being a member of NATO doesn’t mean we are not an independent country. We can be a NATO member and conduct business with Russia too. We do not agree with statements that express anything contrary to this,” the president added.

Erdogan claimed that during his meeting with Putin, the Russian president shared the same thoughts regarding the YPG and once again stressed the need to rid Manbij of fighters from the Kurdish dominated People’s Protection Units (YPG), a major component of the SDF.

During the joint press conference in Moscow, however, both presidents prefered not to dwell on the issue of Manbij and the YPG.