Turkey would purchase Russian Su-35 fighter jets if Ankara decides the aircraft is the best choice for its military despite the possible impact of such a purchase on relations with the United States, according to Turkey’s Presidential Security and Foreign Policies Council member Nurin Atesoglu Guney.
Asked whether there are any concerns a purchase of Su-35 jets may further complicate US-Turkey relations, Guney said, “It can, what can we do?… We have a number of conflicting issues with the United States now. So, this is not that important”.
At the end of October, a source in the Turkish Undersecretariat for Defence Industries said that Ankara and Moscow continue negotiations on the supply of Su-35 fighter jets to Turkey, but a positive outcome is still uncertain.
Guney noted that Turkey was part of the US-led F-35 fighter jet program, but was expelled from it after purchasing Russian S-400 air defense systems.
“We decided to get the S-400s and the Turkish people were fully in support of this decision, that’s for sure”, she said. “The United States is not the only producer, there are other producers present in the market like Russia.
Gunet explained that Turkey’s final decision on a purchase depends on whoever gives Ankara the best choice in terms of technology, co-production, the best price and the like.
“Our final decision will at the end reflects the reality of economic competition existing in the global market. This is a world that we are living in”, Guney said.
In early September, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan attended the MAKS-2019 air show outside Moscow together with Russian President Vladimir Putin. Erdogan expressed interest in purchasing Russian Su-35 and Su-57 jets and later said they were discussing Su-35 deliveries to Turkey.