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NATO Remarks on Turkey’s Plans To Purchase Russian Air-Defense Missile Systems

Turkey's relations with Russia have historically been tense, but Moscow and Ankara have established strong economic ties since the end of the Cold War.

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NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg meets with Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu in Ankara on May 6. RFERL

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg has expressed concern about the potential consequences of Turkey’s plans to purchase Russian air-defense missile systems.

Stoltenberg was speaking on May 6 during a joint press conference with Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu in Ankara, amid a widening rift between Washington and Ankara over Turkey’s deal to buy S-400 surface-to-air missile systems.

The United States has demanded that NATO ally Turkey call off its deal with Russia, saying that the S-400 missiles are incompatible with NATO systems and are seen as a threat to U.S.-made F-35 fighter jets.

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Under Erdogan and Russian President Vladimir Putin, the countries have moved closer in recent years amid severe tension between Russia and the West and strains in Turkey’s ties with the United States and European Union. Pixabay

Washington has said it could also withdraw an offer to sell Ankara the U.S. equivalent — the Patriot anti-missile system – and warned that Turkey risks being ejected from the F-35 fighter-jet program.

Turkey is a member of the consortium involved in the production of the jet and a buyer.

In Ankara, Stoltenberg said that every NATO ally makes its own decisions on the kind of military equipment it buys.

“But at same time I am concerned about the potential consequences as the United States has made it clear that they will impose sanctions” if Turkey goes through with the deal, the NATO chief added.

“What is important for NATO is interoperability — that systems can work together,” he said.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has repeatedly said that his country won’t withdraw from the S-400 deal, which according to Russian media involved four S-400 units for a price of $2.5 billion.

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The United States has demanded that NATO ally Turkey call off its deal with Russia, saying that the S-400 missiles are incompatible with NATO systems and are seen as a threat to U.S.-made F-35 fighter jets. Pixabay

Speaking alongside Stoltenberg on May 6, Erdogan said that he disapproved of attempts to provoke debate on issues like the S-400 that “are within the sovereign rights of our country.”

Turkey’s developing ties “with other countries and regions are not an alternative to each other,” he said, adding that instead they complemented each other.

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Turkey’s relations with Russia have historically been tense, but Moscow and Ankara have established strong economic ties since the end of the Cold War.

Under Erdogan and Russian President Vladimir Putin, the countries have moved closer in recent years amid severe tension between Russia and the West and strains in Turkey’s ties with the United States and European Union. (RFERL)

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11 mn Saplings Were Simultaneously Planted in Turkey During Mass Campaign

Despite the initial target of 11 million, nearly 14 million saplings were adopted for the campaign

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The planting started precisely at 11.11 a.m. lwith a view to carrying Turkey into the Guinness Book of Records by planting the highest number of Saplings in an hour and creating the largest digital photo album of the event. Pixabay

Eleven million Saplings were simultaneously planted on Monday across Turkey as part of a mass campaign aimed at contributing to the agriculture while establishing a greener landscape for future generations.

The campaign is dubbed “Breath Into the Future”, Xinhua news agency quoted Minister of Agriculture and Forestry Bekir Pakdemirli as saying.

“We ensured that 11 million saplings were planted in three hours at 2,023 different points in 81 provinces,” he said.

The planting started precisely at 11.11 a.m. lwith a view to carrying Turkey into the Guinness Book of Records by planting the highest number of saplings in an hour and creating the largest digital photo album of the event.

Saplings
Eleven million Saplings were simultaneously planted on Monday across Turkey as part of a mass campaign aimed at contributing to the agriculture while establishing a greener landscape for future generations. Pixabay

Despite the initial target of 11 million, nearly 14 million saplings were adopted for the campaign, with 212,000 in Istanbul, Turkey’s biggest city, and nearly 340,000 in the capital Ankara.

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Last week, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan declared November 11 as National Forestation Day. (IANS)