Turkey’s recent decision to purchase Russian-made S-400 long-range air defense missile systems has reignited heated debates concerning the country’s role and reliability in NATO and Western alliances. The United States and other NATO countries have showed stiff resistance to Turkey’s decision over the past months with the United States even setting a deadline for Turkey to abandon its deal with Russia. Nevertheless, the Turkish authorities have stuck to their objective and bought the S-400s.
Turkey has been a member of NATO since 1952 but with the delivery of the first package of the air defense system to Turkey in July, some figures from Western circles have been moved as far as supporting a call for Turkey’s expulsion from NATO. Turkish authorities have been justifying buying S-400s with the country’s dire need for air space protection and even emphasizing Turkey’s decisiveness in remaining a crucial part of Western alliances, as well as NATO. However, Western circles interpret the decision differently and claim that Turkey is drifting away from the NATO axis.
In this dossier four experts offer their insights on the current ‘confidence crisis’ between NATO members and Turkey. It offers analysis and predictions of the trajectory of Turkish-American and Turkish-NATO relations, and delves further into the implications of purchasing S-400s for Turkish-Russian relations.