s-400 turkey
© Turkish Military/Turkish Defence Ministry/Handout via REUTERS
Parts of the S-400 are unloaded from a Russian plane
Ankara will make no U-turn on purchasing the much talked about S-400s from Russia, as these air defense systems are vital for protecting Turkish airspace, Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu explained.

"Whatever the consequences," Turkey will not cancel the multibillion deal it signed with Russia over the S-400 anti-aircraft systems, Cavusoglu told a conference in Doha, Qatar. Turkey is in acute need of shielding its territory against incoming threats.

"We are very desperate for an air defense system. We tried to procure it from the US and others, but it didn't work. This is a defense system that is vital for us."

Addressing the same event, Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar reiterated the rationale behind buying the weapon from Moscow. Turkey tried to acquire S-400 analogues from the US and France, but to no avail; Russia, on the other hand, was more responsive to Turkish requirements.

The ministers spoke just two days after US senators backed a bill that would allow sanctioning their NATO ally over the S-400 purchase. The bill would also allow Turkish officials to be penalized over the military operation in Syria against local Kurdish forces, which Ankara considers terrorists.