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Turkey seen distancing itself from NATO with China missile deal

Special to WorldTribune.com

Geostrategy-Direct.com

ANKARA — Turkey has been seen as withdrawing from NATO.

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Erdogan and Chinese President Xi Jinping.

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Erdogan and Chinese President Xi Jinping.

Turkish analysts said the decision by Ankara to select a Chinese ballistic missile defense system marked a major step away from the Western alliance. They said Prime Minister Recep Erdogan was instead promoting Turkish relations with China and the Gulf Cooperation Council.

“In economic terms, the decision shows that Turkey is breaking its full dependency on NATO for defense systems,” Ramazan Tas, a leading Turkish analyst said.

Tas, a professor at Turgut Ozal University, asserted that the selection of China’ HQ-9 by the Defense Industry Executive Committee marked what he termed a strong message to NATO. He said Turkey’s program to coproduce a BMD with Beijing represented an alternative to the Western alliance.

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