Defence Minister Hulusi Akar says Ankara bought Russian missile systems to bolster country's security, arguing US sanctions over the deal were not befitting to ties of both NATO allies.
Urging the US to reconsider its sanction decision, Turkey has said it bought the Russian S-400 missile defence system in line with its national interests as Moscow responded positively and Ankara made its planning accordingly.
Turkey opted to buy the Russian S-400 system to bolster the defence of the country, Turkish Defence Minister Hulusi Akar said on Tuesday at Aksaz naval base in southwestern Mugla province.
Russia responded positively to this issue, and Turkey made its military, economic, and technological planning in this regard, he said.
Inspection and controls of the S-400 system are under way based on the activity plan set by the parties, Akar said.
Akar, who was speaking on Countering America's Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA) imposed by the US, maintained that Washington's sanctions were not befitting to ties between both NATO allies.
"It should be known some activities with the US and especially with NATO, will be negatively affected due to sanctions," Akar said calling on the US government to reassess the situation from both military and political points of view.
Turkey and its armed forces are no ordinary powers, Akar said, adding that no actor could do anything in the Middle East region while acting without, or against, the Turkish Armed Forces.
'Greece acting against neighbourly relations'
Turkey seeks to resolve disputes in the Eastern Mediterranean, Aegean, and on the island of Cyprus through dialogue and good neighbourly relations, Akar said, adding that Ankara was resolute to protect the rights of Turkish people.
Stressing that Turkey did not want to violate the rights of any other country, he said the Athens administration attempted to turn its row with Ankara into a conflict between the EU and Turkey.
"Greece has issued 46 Navtex (Navigational Telex) alerts and 22 training fields in three months. It only used two. This is behaviour contrary to neighbourly relations," he said.
Akar also said Greek authorities did not participate in the NATO-led talks in Brussels whereas the Turkish side was present at the events.
Defence Minister Akar said the Turkish side did its best to maintain the ceasefire in northern Syrian territories, such as the Idlib city and Peace Spring Operation zone, and called on Russia and the US to keep their promises regarding ridding the area of terror elements.
Akar said over one million Syrians have voluntarily returned to safe areas controlled by the Turkish army in Syria, adding the Turkish army will not allow harassment or violation against areas under its control.
He said the YPG was a Syrian branch of the PKK terror group, which killed tens of thousands of people in its decades-long terror campaign in Turkey, so it has to be treated as such.
Akar also said there were no Covid-19 cases among ranks of the armed forces thanks to the rigid measures adopted by authorities to eliminate the risk of infection among army members.