Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan (65) changes his mind.
The Turkish military was originally supposed to receive the first delivery of Russian S-400 missile defense systems this summer – against the will of US President Donald Trump (72).
The lira crisis has obviously caused Erdogan to change his mind, however. As BILD has learned from diplomatic circles in Ankara, the missile deal between Moscow and Ankara will apparently no longer take place.
Background: The relationship between Turkey and the US is tense in any case. Washington has also threatened to impose sanctions on Turkey because of the S-400 missile defense issue.
▶︎In return, the administration of US President Trump has, for the time being, stopped the delivery of material for F-35 fighter jets to Ankara because of its dissatisfaction with the planned installation of the controversial Russian missile defense system.
▶︎But it is not only the US that is concerned about the deal between Erdogan and the Russians. There has also been criticism from Germany: “We want Turkey to stay firmly grounded in the Western alliance, and we are therefore very concerned about the purchase of the S-400,” said Martin Erdmann, the German ambassador to Ankara, at the Istanbul Security Conference. Ibrahim Kalin, the Turkish Presidential Press secretary, was present during the statement.
USA stoppen Kampfjet-Lieferungen an Erdogan
Der Streit um den Kauf eines russischen Luftabwehrsystems ist eskaliert. Die USA haben die Lieferung von Kampfjets an die USA gestoppt.
Erdogan geht auf Firmenbosse los
Nächste Attacke von Erdogan. Der türkische Präsident geht jetzt plötzlich auf Unternehmer los, stößt Drohungen aus.
The thorny fact is that Turkey would be the first NATO member state to rely on Russian technology. The Russian missile defense system counts as being incompatible with NATO’s systems, however.
But now the deal with the Russians seems to be off.
A high-ranking diplomat from Ankara told BILD: “The economic crisis in Turkey is increasing due to Erdogan’s aggressive foreign policy. There won’t be a S-400 delivery in July, as the Turkish President has announced, because the purchase would lead to sanctions from Washington – and with the current crisis with the lira, this would be an economic downfall for Turkey.”
This means that Erdogan has pushed his luck too far. The bad economic situation has thwarted his plans. He must now once again move closer to US President Trump and the other NATO partners.
Prior to the scheduled election in Istanbul, this development could weaken the results of Erdogan’s party.
Turkish lira still tumbling
At the same time, the decline of the Turkish lira on Thursday has raised the central bank’s concerns. The monetary regulator is suspending its weekly repo auctions in order to tighten its monetary policy and support the lira.
The Turkish currency has recently slumped considerably and marked an eight-month low of 6.24 liras against the dollar. This was caused by the repetition of the mayoral election in Istanbul. Investors are concerned that the country will face weeks of uncertainty until the election on June 23. Suspending the repo auctions is a way for central banks to support the currency. However, this is only an emergency measure, said Tim Ash, strategist for emerging countries at BlueBay Asset Management. “The real problem is the economic policy’s lack of credibility.”
The Turkish central bank already supported the currency one week ago, prior to the local elections. Since then, the lira has lost more than ten percent in value.