Turkey is continuing its steady, dangerous march to the dark side.
The latest troubling developments:
- This once-loyal and trustworthy NATO ally is now planning to buy an advanced, state-of-the-art military system from Czar Putin amidst growing political, economic and military ties between Russia and Turkey.
- Turkey’s leader is calling on millions of Muslims to “flock” to Jerusalem and go to the al-Aksa Mosque and Dome of the Rock (on the Temple Mount) as often as possible, ostensibly to overwhelm Israeli security and to insist on Islamist sovereignty over the holiest site in Judaism, thus potentially provoking more unrest and even violence.
Last year, I warned that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan (pronounced “Air-doh-wahn”) entered office poses as somewhat of a moderate but is emerging as an Islamist Radical and a serious and growing challenge to the U.S. and the West.
“Driven perhaps by visions of restoring Turkey to the power and glory of the Ottoman Empire at its peak, Erdogan is aggressively fashioning himself into a brutal dictator,” I noted. “He’s cracking down on Internet freedom. He’s seizing churches. He’s seizing media outlets that speak out against him. He’s using the crisis in Syria not to go after ISIS — as he claims — but to bomb the Kurds who are at war with ISIS.”
Things have not gotten better over the past year.
I’ll write more on the tense situation in Jerusalem, the Temple Mount, and Jordan in the days ahead.
For the moment, let’s focus on the new Turkish military deal with the Russians.
“There is no harm in Turkey’s missile defense system purchase from Russia, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has said in response to U.S. top general’s concerns over the issue, adding that the two countries have already signed a deal for the delivery of the S-400 missiles,” reports the Daily Hurriyet, a leading Turkish news outlet.
“Why will it cause tension? A country should be in search for the ideal ways for its own security,” Erdogan said, addressing the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) lawmakers in parliament on July 25….
“We have now taken steps with Russia about this issue. Deals have been inked. In God’s will, we will see S-400 missiles in our country and precede the process with joint production,” the Turkish leader said.
More excerpts from the story:
- Turkey was not able to cooperate with the U.S. over the missile system, the president noted, adding that this was why Turkey was seeking alternatives.
- Erdoğan’s remarks came days after U.S. Gen. Joseph Dunford, U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff chair, claimed that Turkey and Russia could not agree on the procurement of the missile defense system.
- “It would be a concern, were they to do that, but they have not done that,” Dunford reportedly said at a security forum in Aspen, Colorado on July 23, when asked about media reports on Turkey purchasing the Russian system.
- The U.S. general called the reports “incorrect.”
- However, his remarks contradicted with former statements by Turkish and Russian officials….
- Russian presidential aide Vladimir Kozhin said late June that Moscow and Ankara had agreed on the delivery of the S-400 mobile systems but that the Kremlin had not approved a loan for the deal.
- The S-400 system was introduced in 2007 and can carry three types of missiles capable of destroying ground and air targets, including ballistic and cruise missiles. It can track and engage up to 300 targets simultaneously and has an altitude ceiling of 27 kilometers.
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