Ankara and Washington began negotiating Turkey’s purchase of Patriot missile defense systems from the U.S., Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said Friday.
"A positive response came from the Americans to the last letter we sent regarding the Patriot issue two years ago and negotiations have begun," Cavusoglu told a local broadcaster in the central province of Eskisehir.
He underlined that various factors including the price, delivery timetable and prospects for transfer of the system’s technology would also carry weight in the negotiation process, adding that Washington offered to send one system at an earlier date after Ankara’s objections on the late delivery of a separate system.
After protracted efforts to purchase air defense systems from the U.S. with no success, in 2017 Ankara decided to buy Russian S-400 air defense systems.
"We are buying the S-400s because we couldn’t purchase the Patriots," Cavusoglu said, adding that the sale would be made only if it is found to be in the interests of Ankara.
FETO loses first litigation in Kyrgyzstan
He also touched upon the gains Turkey and other countries were making against the Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO).
Underlining a recent judicial defeat that the terror group suffered in Kyrgyzstan, he said a decision by the Kyrgyz Supreme Court was "quite meaningful".
On Thursday, Kyrgyzstan’s supreme court ruled to transfer funds from the FETO-linked Kaynak Holding to Turkey’s insurance fund.
"This is the first time they [FETO] lost a court case in Kyrgyzstan," said Cavusoglu, adding that Turkey’s efforts against the group and for the extradition of its leader from the U.S. was ongoing.
FETO and its U.S.-based leader Fetullah Gulen orchestrated the defeated coup of July 15, 2016, which left 251 people martyred and nearly 2,200 injured.
Ankara accuses FETO of being behind a long-running campaign to overthrow the state through the infiltration of Turkish institutions, particularly the military, police, and judiciary.