The Minister of National Defense of the Republic Hulusi Akar noted that the strengthening of Turkey means the strengthening of NATO.

Turkish Minister of National Defense Hulusi Akar announced the beginning of the procedure for the purchase of F-16 fighter jets from the United States.

“Technical work has begun on the acquisition of the F-16; we are monitoring this process. Strengthening Turkey also means strengthening NATO,” Anadolu quoted him as saying on Saturday.

The United States, trying to put pressure on Turkey after it acquired S-400 anti-aircraft missile systems from Russia, refused to supply fifth-generation F-35 aircraft to this country in 2019. However, this has had the opposite effect – recently, there has been regular information that Ankara is considering the possibility of purchasing a new generation of aircraft from Moscow.

Earlier, the head of the Turkish Defense Industry Department, Ismail Demir, said that the republic is still ready to consider the possibility of acquiring Russian Su-35 and Su-57 aircraft if Ankara fails to reach an agreement with Washington on the supply of American fighters.