Turkey is determined to get back the $1.4 billion the US owes it over F-35 jets Turkey paid for but were never delivered, the Turkish president has stressed.
“We will get back the $1.4 billion in one way or another,” Recep Tayyip Erdogan told reporters late on Wednesday on the plane returning from a trip to Africa, adding that the Turkish defense minister and US defense secretary have been discussing the issue.
He believed positive steps would be taken, Erdogan said, adding the issue would be discussed with US President Joe Biden during this weekend’s Group of 20 meeting in Rome.
“In no way will we let anyone abuse Turkey’s rights,” he added.
In 2017, when its protracted efforts to buy the Patriot air defense system from the US proved fruitless, Turkey signed a contract with Russia to acquire its S-400 defense system.
Last year the US suspended Turkey from the F-35 jet program, claiming the S-400s would expose the F-35s to possible Russian subterfuge.
Turkey, however, stressed that the S-400 would not be integrated into NATO systems and poses no threat to the alliance or its armament.
It has repeatedly urged a working group to clear up the technical compatibility issues.