Opinion | Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s Alternative

President of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdogan makes a press release in Ankara, on Dec. 14.


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Turkey has lengthy been a fickle NATO ally, however President

Recep Tayyip Erdogan

lastly went too far when shopping for the Russian S-400 air-defense missile system. The State Division’s Monday announcement that Ankara now faces sanctions was unlucky however inevitable.

Secretary of State

Mike Pompeo

mentioned in a press release that Turkey’s “buy of the S-400 system would endanger the safety of U.S. navy expertise and personnel and supply substantial funds to Russia’s protection sector, in addition to Russian entry to the Turkish armed forces and protection trade.” The sanctions will goal Turkey’s protection procurement company and its prime officers. This can sting, as worldwide monetary establishments must assume twice earlier than doing enterprise with the company.

Mr. Pompeo added that the White Home desires to resolve the problem however is obligated to impose sanctions below the Countering America’s Adversaries By way of Sanctions Act (Caatsa), a 2017 legislation meant to discourage weapons purchases from Russia. Our solely criticism is that the Trump Administration took so lengthy to behave.

Whereas Washington already has suspended Turkey from the F-35 program—which might be severely undermined by the S-400 buy—these sanctions ought to have come greater than a yr in the past. The Administration beforehand mentioned it wouldn’t impose sanctions if Turkey didn’t activate the system, however then why would Ankara purchase it? Turkey test-fired the S-400 in October.

Mr. Erdogan has cozied as much as Russia’s

Vladimir Putin

in recent times. Whereas Russian and Turkish pursuits diverge in locations like Syria and the Black Sea, Mr. Putin was thrilled to make the sale. The financial advantages are nothing in comparison with disarray and division inside NATO.

Turkey’s economic system has struggled below Mr. Erdogan, who overhauled his financial crew final month. However the nation’s finest path to prosperity is thru nearer integration with the West and significantly the European Union. Whether or not Ankara deepens ties with its NATO allies or an financial backwater like Russia is as much as Mr. Erdogan.

Journal Editorial Report: The week’s finest and worst from Kim Strassel, Invoice McGurn, Allysia Finley and Dan Henninger. Photographs: Zuma Press/AP/Getty Photographs Composite: Mark Kelly

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