Turkey is reportedly in talks with the United States for the possible sale of Patriot missile defense system, local media reports.
The Turkish official told Daily Sabah that Ankara has been routinely conducting talks and Turkish expectations on the deal have not changed, confirming the statement made by Ankara’s main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) Deputy Chairman Öztürk Yılmaz last week that Turkey contacted Americans about the Patriot systems two to three weeks ago.
"For us, technology transfer and joint production are the necessary conditions for purchase," the official said.
However, Yılmaz, who had a series of meetings with officials from the White House, the State Department and Pentagon, said even though two countries reach a deal on a possible sale of the Patriot, it would be almost impossible to get it authorized by Congress due to severe anti-Turkey sentiment.
Yılmaz said his interactions with American officials made him think that the U.S. wouldn't budge from its support to terror group PKK's Syrian armed wing People's Protection Units (YPG) against Daesh. "But American officials are looking for ways to re-vitalize relations and satisfy Turkish concerns in Syria and in the region" he added.
The US Patriots were deployed in southern Turkey for two years after Washington decided to pull the batteries after a reassessment of the threats in 2015 stemming from the conflict in neighbouring Syria.
Turkey turned to its NATO allies for help over its troubled frontier after shells landed on its border areas from Syria in October 2012, killing several villagers. The United States, the Netherlands and Germany provided a total of six Patriots batteries along the Turkish border with Syria.
Originally used as an anti-aircraft missile, Patriots today are used to defend airspace by detecting and destroying incoming missiles. NATO deployed Patriot missiles in Turkey during the 1991 Gulf war and in 2003 during the Iraqi conflict.