Turkey playing both sides with decided preference for autocracy

One would think Putin would have yanked S-400 contracts with Turkey, angered by Ankara’s Bayraktar combat drone deals with Kyiv. He has not. Instead, he is pursuing a Bayraktar drone plant in Russia to use the combat drones against Ukraine.

If a conflict with NATO broke out Putin would not want S-400’s operational over Turkish bases and cities. So Putin’s willingness to sell more S-400’s to Turkey suggests that he has an “app for that” or certainty that Erdoğan would come down on his side.

Turks should ask themselves: does Russia have likely backdoors in the S-400 systems, and in maintaining them, access to create new ones? If Putin ordered strategic bombers to strike Turkey, would there be S-400 air defense?


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