İSTANBUL — With Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan reaffirming his commitment to buy Russian missiles in the face of renewed warnings from NATO ally the United States about sanctions, Ankara and Washington remain on a collision course. Analysts warn that with a July date looming for Ankara to take delivery of the missiles, time is running out to avert a rupture in bilateral ties.
"Turkey must choose — does it want to remain a critical partner in the most successful military alliance in history?" said David Satterfield, the U.S. nominee to be the ambassador to Turkey, speaking at a confirmation hearing Thursday before the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee. "Or does it want to risk the security of that partnership by making such reckless decisions that undermine our alliance?"
"We tell them [journalists], 'This is a job done, all is ready,' " said Erdogan. He confirmed the purchase of the S-400 missiles as he spoke to Turkish reporters Monday, while returning from Moscow after his third meeting this year with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
"İt's like a slow-motion car crash. It's even difficult now to call Turkey and the U.S. allies, so I am not very optimistic about the relationship," said former senior Turkish diplomat Aydin Selcen, who served in Washington.
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