According to media reports, the letter sent by the acting head of the Pentagon to the Turkish Defense Minister stated that Washington refused to train Turkish pilots because of Ankara’s contracts for Russian S-400
Ankara expressed dissatisfaction with the fact that the U.S. disclosed the contents of the letter of the Acting Head of the Pentagon Patrick Shanahan to the Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar, which referred to the purchase of Russian S-400 air defense systems. This is reported by the local agency Anadolu.
“This letter does not correspond to the spirit of allied relations. Such letters are confidential,” said Ibrahim Kalyn, spokesman for the President of Turkey.
The fact that the text of the message was sent to journalists is unacceptable in the context of solving serious interstate problems, added Kalyn, saying that he has already talked about it with the U.S. presidential advisor on national security John Bolton.
Two days earlier, the U.S. magazine Foreign Policy reported with reference to this letter dated June 6 that Shanahan wrote to Akara that Turkish pilots studying in the U.S. F-35 flights will leave the country before July 31, and notified that they will not accept new pilots in the U.S. The reason, the edition pointed out, was the contracts for the purchase of Russian S-400 complexes.
Kalyn expressed hope that Turkey hopes that the US will change its position, otherwise it will damage bilateral relations.
Earlier, Turkish President Recep Erdoğan said that Ankara has already signed a contract for the supply of S-400 and concluded that this issue has already been closed.