Eyes on Turkey: Are the S-400 Missiles Going to be Activated?
According to senior researcher Kadri Tastan from the German Marshall Fund (GMF), the recent developments in Idlib and the outbreak of the coronavirus may delay the activation of S-400.
According to Tastan’s assessment shared with DW Turkish, "the crisis in Idlib which led to the deaths of Turkish soldiers revealed that Russia is not such a reliable partner, causing the political leaders in Turkey to change their perception of Russia. Also, the coronavirus outbreak will further exacerbate Turkey's economy.”
Another reason for Turkey to put a hold on S-400 activation is Turkey’s relationship with the United States. “By activating S-400, a renewed escalation with the United States would take a toll on the Turkey’s economy and would therefore not be reasonable. Like many other countries, Turkey might need the support of IMF due to the coronavirus. One should not ignore the weight of the United States in the IMF,” Tastan stated.
After the tensions in Idlib, Turkey is turning again to its Western allies, even requesting support from NATO. Tastan argues, "Turkey used the S-400 missiles as a bargaining chip against the West. Now delaying its decision to activate the missiles could be interpreted that Turkey this time uses the missiles as a bargaining chip against Russia. Ankara may have turned towards a policy of balancing Russia through the West.”