Turkey’s Erdogan Insists Russian S-400 Missiles Are Not for Show

Turkish leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan (R) with Russian President Vladimir Putin. Turkey has bought an expensive missile system from Moscow, against NATO wishes. (File photo).

Russian-made surface-to-air missiles bought by Turkey will be used “in necessary” Turkish leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said.

Erdogan, speaking in a live television interview with four Turkish broadcasters in Istanbul, insisted the S-400 system was not for show.

“We will not just buy the S-400s and place them in a storehouse. We will use them if need be,” he said.

Turkey has faced a negative reaction from NATO allies about buying Russian technology.

However, Erdogan dismissed American concerns, saying: “What are we going to do with it if not use this defense system? Are we going to depend on the U.S. again? When we have been demanding from them for years, the answer that has been given to us is: ‘The [U.S.] Congress will not allow [it]’. We are tired of this.”

According to reporting of the interview by state-run Anadolu Agency, Erdogan also said he expected the country’s early presidential election on June 24 to be concluded in the first round.

Amid electoral campaign in Turkey in recent weeks, a series of perceived foreign rivals and enemies have come in for attack, including Greece, which Erdogan labelled “bankrupt” and “finished” at a rally last week.