On Wednesday, Washington announced it was taking Turkey out of the F-35 fighter jet programme.

Turkish National Defence Minister Hulusi Akar answers the questions regarding the delivery of first batch of Russian S-400 hardware to Turkey, on July 12, 2019 in Ankara, Turkey.
Turkish National Defence Minister Hulusi Akar answers the questions regarding the delivery of first batch of Russian S-400 hardware to Turkey, on July 12, 2019 in Ankara, Turkey. (AA)

Turkey's removal from the F-35 fighter jet programme would have “adverse” effects on NATO's power, particularly on its southern flank, the country’s defence minister said on Thursday. 

“Expecting the US to avoid steps that could harm the relations of two countries is the most natural right of Turkey as a strategic partner,” Hulusi Akar told Anadolu Agency after inspection of troops deployed along the country’s border with Syria.

The “unilateral and unfair decision” to try to remove Turkey from the F-35 project “is not based on legitimate justification,” he added. 

On Wednesday, Washington announced it was taking Turkey out of the F-35 fighter jet programme, following the threats to do so over Ankara's purchase of the Russian S-400 air defence system. 

The statement underlined that Turkey-US relations will not follow healthy progress with the unilateral impositions.

Following protracted efforts to purchase an air defence system from the US with no success, Ankara signed a contract in 2017 to purchase the S-400s from Russia.

US officials claim that the Russian system would be incompatible with NATO systems and expose the F-35s to possible Russian subterfuge.

Turkey, however, emphasized the S-400 would not be integrated into NATO systems and would not pose a threat to the alliance.

Turkey urged the formation of a commission to clarify any technical issues, but the US failed to respond to the proposal. 

Source: AA