Turkey has long been sensitive over the deployment of US missile systems on its soil and instead opted to come under the missile shield umbrella of NATO, of which it is a member.
“Turkey will only agree to a missile shield program within NATO, but not the US. In addition, there is no way Turkey will agree to a US missile shield project that will target Iran and Russia, countries with which it has been developing good relations,” a Western diplomat said.
The same diplomat noted that Turkey had wanted Patriot missiles based on its soil during the first Gulf War in 1991 to be removed following the end of the NATO-led offensive against Iraq. This was to stress the Turkish sensitivity over bilateral missile arrangements with any country . . .
However, the Turkish Defense Ministry clarified in a statement on Sept. 14 that it was interested in securing Raytheon and Lockheed Martin’s participation in its international tender for the acquisition of long-range air and missile-defense systems (T-LORAMIDS). That meant that there is no guarantee Patriot missiles would be purchased; a selection will be made as a result of a tender in which Russia and China are also participating. (photo: Reuters)