Turkey recently purchased the S-400 missile defense system from Russia to upgrade their air defense. Turkey was also in the process of purchasing F-35 fighter jet air crafts from the United States, however, after their deal with Russia, relations with the United States soured. Currently, Turkey is looking to purchase new SU-57 stealth fighter jet aircrafts from Russia or the J-20 fighter jets from China. Due to the S-400 deal, Turkey has faced pressure from members of NATO and the United States to cancel their ongoing arrangement with Russia.

Turkey, however, has ignored these pressures at every turn. If we look at the geography of Turkey, it is a land divided into Europe and Asia. Turkey has remained a strategic partner for the United States but has eluded European Union membership despite constant efforts to integrate itself into the body. The last induction into the European Union occurred in 2013 with the addition of Croatia. After trying for two decades to become a member, Turkey has changed its mind and shifted its attention to regional politics within the Middle East, Syria, and Libya. After the failed military coup of 2016, the present government shifted their attention from the United States to Russia and has subsequently become a more powerful and effective nation. This is an ideal time for Turkey to build on its strategic relationship with Russia, China, the Middle East and Asia to establish itself as a global economic player.

Turkey has plans to become the hub of energy infrastructure, with Qatar planning to supply LNG through Turkey to Europe, boosting economic activity in the black sea region. This provides an ideal opportunity for Pakistan to engage Turkey in a diplomatic dialogue, provide JF-17 thunder fighter jet aircrafts, and align itself strategically with the emerging power.

ABDUL KHALIQUE, PANHYAR,

Karachi.