President Tayyip Erdogan said on Friday Turkey would turn elsewhere for fighter jets if the United States will not sell it F-35s, adding that the US decision to cut Ankara from the jet production program would not deter it from meeting its needs.
The United States said last week it was removing NATO ally Turkey from the F-35 program, as it long threatened, after Ankara purchased and received delivery of Russian S-400 missile defenses. US President Donald Trump has yet to decide on sanctions on Turkey that appear to be required by US law.
Erdogan, speaking publicly about Ankara’s strained ties with Washington for the first time in 11 days, said he hoped US officials would be “reasonable” on the question of sanctions.
Turkey said on Wednesday it had “run out of patience” with the United States in talks over the formation of a safe zone and other developments in the region, after Turkish and US officials held a series of meetings.