Turkish retired general urges purchase of Chinese missiles
Updated: 2015-02-22 09:59
China Central Television (CCTV) aired a footage showing Chinese military's drills with its newly-developed FD-2000 air defense missle system. [Photo/CCTV]
ISTANBUL - Turkish retired lieutenant general welcomed the government decision to buy the Chinese long rage surface-to-air missile system in a press conference on Saturday.
Ismail Hakki Pekin, former head of intelligent unit of chief of staff and Deputy-Chairman of the Turkish Patriotic Party, said at a press conference that "Turkey should definitely prefer Chinese missile system over the U.S. and other European countries because China will enable Turkey to produce its own national system in the near future by transferring technology."
He made the statement after the announcement by Turkish Defense Minister Ismet YilmazT last week that Turkey prefers to go ahead with the Chinese contract of long rage surface-to-air missile system ignited both concerns and excitements in Turkey and abroad.
He argued that the technology transfer will later enable Turkey to sell its defense system to the third parties making the country a defense industry exporter.
"The aim of U.S and European countries is to keep Turkey as much as a dependent country in terms of defense systems' equipment and technology," Pekin noted at the press conference.
Speaking on possible sanctions of U.S and NATO countries, Pekin said that Turkey should be ready against the pressures of the U.S. arms dealers due to the high price of the project.
According to the initial agreement with China, China's Precision Machinery Import and Export Corporation will transfer Turkey the critical technology and the source codes of the system.
The Chinese company offers the project for 3.4 billion U.S. dollars while the U.S. offer is 5 billion dollars and the France's offer is 4.4 billion dollars.
Pekin also said that in case of the installation of Chinese missile system, Turkey will most probably face delays of the deliveries of the military equipment from U.S. and NATO countries.
With the Chinese defense system Turkey will be a deterrent country in the region and will strengthen its hand against any possible threats that might come from Russia, Iran, Syria and Greece, Pekin told Xinhua.
"Chinese missile system is a vital project for Turkey in terms of strengthening Turkey's air defense and the countries defense against missiles," he said.
In the mean time, Turkey still didn't officially announce its final decision on the missiles deal.
Ankara has also been conducting talks with U.S. defense contractor Raytheon, the producer of the Patriot missile system and French-Italian company Eurosam over their SAMP/T system.