Erdoğan: ‘We Won’t Step Back on S-400s’

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President and Justice and Development Party (AKP) Chair Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has made a speech at his party’s parliamentary group meeting, making remarks on the İstanbul mayoral election rerun and the purchase of the S-400 air defense missiles from Russia.

Erdoğan said that he will meet world leaders at the G20 summit in Japan tomorrow (June 26) and then pay a visit to China. He is expected to have a meeting on the S-400 issue with US President Donald Trump at the summit.

“We will begin to receive the S-400 air defense systems next month. Our door has always been open to different options.

“Turkey does not have to get permission for this issue, above all, it does not have to yield to pressure. S-400s directly concerns our sovereignty rights and we won’t step back on this.”

Erdoğan also offered his congratulations for the opposition’s candidate who won the June 23 election rerun in İstanbul.

“I once again congratulate CHP [the main opposition Republican People’s Party] candidate Ekrem İmamoğlu who has been elected as the Mayor of the İstanbul Metropolitan Municipality. We always welcome the decision of the people of İstanbul.

“We wanted Mr. Yıldırım to win the election. I thank him for his efforts and struggle.”

Eastern Mediterranean tensions

“In the eastern Mediterranean, we will resolutely continue to take steps. We will never allow attempts that ignore Turkey’s and Cypriot Turks’ rights regarding oil exploration.

“Prime Minister of Greece says something. Whatever he says, we have rights there.

“Both our ships that protect our rights and our drill ships continue their operations. Our armed forces took, are taking and will take necessary measures.”

Erdoğan said that the “terror corridor” should be turned into a “security corridor,” referring to the area in Northern Syria held by the Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD) and its allies, and Syrian refugees in Turkey should be settled there.

He called the US to provide logistic support for settlements to be built. (AS/VK)