US sanctions Turkey and invites condemnation from its NATO ally Russia and life-long enemy Iran. According to the reports, Turkey proceeded to buy the Russian Air Defense System Called, S-400 in 2017 despite US suggested otherwise. This system is able to detect US aircrafts equipped with stealth technology and take them out with a missile.
Last year, US warned that if Turkey advanced to buy the S-400 system then it would cancel the deal of 100 F-35 fighter jets. It is one of the best fighter jets in the world. Donald Trump’s administration imposed sanctions on the defense industry of Turkey by law that he established in August 2017 i.e. section 231 of Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA). According to this act, the US can legally punish any country for buying weapons from Russia.
There have been multiple US sanctions against Turkey through this act. Experts believe that another sanction from Trump administration will only increase the rising tension between two countries.
The US Sanctions Turkey And Gets Rejected
Turkey has strongly condemned this decision from Trump’s administration and asked the US to rectify this mistake. President Recep Tayyip Erdogan may have doubted his country’s alliance with NATO members as Turkey is the only ally to receive sanctions from the US. He said that this was an attack on Turkish sovereignty.
Iran and Russia also condemned this move by the US.
What Are US Sanctions Against Turkey
The sanctions include a ban on US export licenses and authorizations to Turkey’s Presidency of Defense Industries (SSB). They also froze assets of four SSB officers and banned their travel. US argued that the purchase of S-400 defense system would put its military equipment at risk.
NATO also said that the cost of integrating new defense system would be too high due to possible compatibility problems. Turkey on the hand maintained that it poses no threat to US military or NATO systems.
How Does The S-400 Work?
S-400 is made up of 4 vehicles; long-range surveillance radar, command vehicle, engagement radar, and Launch vehicle. These are deployed in the same order in a form of line (one behind the other) on the battlefield.
Long-range surveillance radar analyses potential targets, tracks them, and relays information to command vehicle. Then the command vehicle identifies the target and orders launch vehicle to begin destruction.
Launch vehicle releases missiles into the air and engagement radar guides the missile towards the target.
Why US Imposed Sanctions On Turkey?
The complex relationship between US and Turkey has boiled over the years. Turkey tried to buy an air defense system three times but US refused to provide latest version under Barrack Obama’s administration. Some reports said that the US was offering them old version for more than 4 billion USD. Therefore, Turkey signed the S-400 contract with Russia for 2.5 billion USD.
Turkey required to fill the gap in their aerial defense after ‘A Night Of Defiance’ in 2016; in which a faction from within the Turkish military launched a coup attempt against Erdogan’s administration resulting in hundreds of deaths. The defenders foiled that attempt but Turkey became short on fighters and US was not giving them any air defense system. Many media outlets have misrepresented the situation and distorted the facts.
Why US Is So Scared Of Turkey?
Turkey has been becoming an independent and ambitious Muslim nation since last few years. Ever since Erdogan came to power, the west has been fearing about his ambition to restore Islamic Caliphate. There are fears and concerns regarding if Turkey is the appropriate nation to restore the historic political system. The idea is also being promoted in other Muslim countries like Pakistan through a TV show, Dirilis: Ertugrul.
It is understandable if the US is scared that Turkey might act on their ideas if its military gets strong. EU has also accused Erdogan for gradually adopting an authoritative style of leadership following the events of 2016 coup.
Erdogan has however discussed building better ties with EU in a telephonic conversation with President of European Council Charles Michel. He said he wants to turn a new leaf with EU while some external forces do not want that to happen. He also accused Greece from avoiding the practical talks while Turkey was ready to improve relations.
The EU led by Germany is yet to respond to this stance of Turkey. Probably it will be a delayed response since Turkey reportedly released a massive survey vessel into Greek waters a few months ago.
How The Sanctions Fare For Turkey
According to many experts, the sanctions have been mild. They are not expected to disrupt Turkey’s economy in general. Lira also remained stable after US imposed sanctions. According to Turkish analysts, the penalties are limited to SSB and possibly curb the diplomacy with many other nations.
A spokesman for President Erdogan, Ibrahim Kalin mentioned that Turkey will develop its own defense system as a response to US sanctions on its arms division.