Erdoğan, Trump show flexibility to resolve recent problems - columnist

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and his U.S. counterpart Donald Trump show political flexibility to overcome the current problems between two countries, a non-resident Atlantic Council fellow Verda Özer said in an analysis for Milliyet on Saturday.

Trump announced last month that the United States halted the delivery of 100 F-35 stealth fighters Turkey purchased after Ankara started receiving shipments of S-400s. The Pentagon also suspended Turkey’s participation in the programme to build F-35s over concerns that Russian S-400 missile systems could access sensitive data on the aircraft’s defence.

On Aug. 23, the United States has formally withdrawn an offer to Turkey for the sale of U.S.-made Patriot batteries in retaliation for Turkey's acquisition of Russian S-400 missile systems.

Erdoğan said in a phone call between two leaders that Turkey is ready to buy Patriot batteries, and Trump responded that delivery of F-35s could take place if Ankara buys U.S.-made batteries and does not activate S-400 systems, according to Özer.

The United States has flexed its conditions to punish Turkey over S-400s firstly from acquisition to delivery, then from delivery to activation while Turkey shows a political elasticity by discussing the purchase of Patriot batteries as standing firm on S-400s and a planned safe zone in northern Syria, Özer said.

"At the moment, there is no solution to satisfy both sides and the search for a mutual agreement continues. This means that negotiations will continue until April, when the delivery of the S-400 is completed, and the door is open to purchase of Patriot," the columnist said.