Turkey can never accept anyone’s dictation on the country’s defense industry, the Turkish president said on Friday.
"No country can determine the steps we will take in our defense industry. This depends entirely on our decision to be taken," Recep Tayyip Erdogan said following a Friday prayer in Istanbul.
As a NATO country, he stressed, Turkey can never accept dictation from its partners in the bloc.
In April 2017, when protracted efforts to buy an air defense system from the US proved futile, Turkey signed a contract with Russia to acquire its state-of-art S-400 missile shield.
US officials voiced opposition to their deployment, claiming they would be incompatible with NATO systems and would expose F-35 jets to possible Russian subterfuge.
Turkey, however, stressed that the S-400s would not be integrated into NATO systems, and poses no threat to the alliance or its armaments.
Turkish officials have repeatedly proposed a working group to examine the technical compatibility issue.
"Although we paid a huge amount of money, the F-35 jets have unfortunately not been given to us yet. This is, of course, a very serious mistake the US committed as an ally country in international diplomacy," Erdogan said.
He went on to say that he hopes US would take positive steps in this regard following the transition of presidency to Joe Biden.