Turkey is set accept delivery of the Russian-made S-400 missile defense system in July, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan announced on June 25.
“We will, hopefully, start receiving the S-400 air defense systems, which we ordered, next month,” Erdoğan said, addressing his party’s group meeting at the parliament.
“The issue of S-400 is an issue directly related to our sovereignty, and we will not backtrack from that,” he added.
Erdoğan has vowed to use his good relations with U.S. counterpart Donald Trump to defuse tensions between the two governments when they meet on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Osaka, Japan later this week.
Tensions between the United States and Turkey have escalated in recent months over the S-400 purchase, which Washington said will jeopardize Turkey’s role in the F-35 fighter jet program and could trigger sanctions.
Elaborating on the issue of a Turkey-proposed secure zone in northern Syria, Erdoğan complained that his foreign interlocutors do not take a positive step to this end despite their promises. He noted that Ankara is ready to provide the infrastructure there.
In ongoing talks with the United States, Erdoğan said, Trump has considered the idea of a secure zone a few times, but they had not achieved progress. The same applied to German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Saudi officials, too, he added.
“No cabinet reshuffle over imposition”
In his first public appearance since the ruling party’s defeat in a rerun election for Istanbul mayor, Erdoğan vowed to draw lessons from “the messages given by the nation.”
“We don’t have the luxury of turning a deaf ear and ignoring the messages given by our nation,” he said.
Erdoğan noted that the AKP would determine “failings, disunity and errors” and look for ways to fix them.
He said: “There is no offense at the nation or blaming the nation” over the poll, which saw an opposition candidate win the mayor’s seat. “With its will on March 31 and June 23, the nation, said, ‘No stopping; let’s move on down the road’,” he added.
Main Opposition Republican People’s Party’s (CHP) candidate Ekrem İmamoglu won a re-do election by receiving 54.21 percent of the votes (4,741,870), according to the unofficial results.
Asked about speculations about a cabinet reshuffle, Erdoğan told reporters, “If something needs to be done, we will do it,” but they would not act on other’s order.
“There is no change of cabinet with such impositions from outside,” he added.