Trump punishes Turkey for purchasing a Russian anti-aircraft system

A missile is discharged from a Russian S-400 anti-aircraft system.Image AFP

Washington has been constantly threatening sanctions against Turkey since the contract was signed in Moscow last July. Turkey was thrown out of the program for the development of the fighter plane F-35, but that was it. Even when the Turkish army carried out trial launches over the Black Sea in mid-October.

Turkish colleague Erdogan

The Pentagon and the State Department then urged to take steps against Ankara. But President Donald Trump insisted on keeping his Turkish colleague Recep Tayyip Erdogan, with whom he has a good relationship, out of the wind. Shortly before his retirement, Trump now gives in to the pressure from his administration.

“The United States has repeatedly made it clear to Turkey that the purchase of the S-400 jeopardizes the security of our military personnel and our technology, and provides the Russian defense industry with significant funding,” said Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in a statement.


The Turkish government has reacted indignantly to the US punitive measure. She called it a “serious mistake” that will inevitably lead to a deterioration in mutual relations. There were also threats of retaliatory measures ‘at an appropriate time’ without further explanation.

Still, the American sanctions are not very extensive. They only target the SSB, the Turkish army’s purchasing office. Chairman Ismail Demir and three employees are banned from entering and their assets in the US are frozen. American banks and other companies are also prohibited from doing business with the SSB.


The lira did not suffer much from the news about the sanctions on Tuesday. The Turkish currency fell 1 percent. In recent months, the price has often seen much greater fluctuations.

Russia reacted sarcastically. The sanctions against Turkey are a show of “arrogance” on the part of the Americans, said Secretary of State Sergey Lavrov. According to him they will damage the international standing of the US.