Erdoğan's indirect response to Greek Rafales: We make our own planes and big countries demand them

Recep Tayyip Erdogan

In an indirect manner, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan responded yesterday to Greece acquiring the first six of 24 French-made Rafale fighter jets.

The Turkish president also called on Turkish citizens and companies to convert their foreign currency savings into Turkish liras as Ankara seeks to boost demand for the local currency.

Speaking after the cabinet meeting, Erdoğan said 163 billion Turkish lira had been deposited in accounts as part of a government program that protects lira deposits from devaluation.

In the meantime, the Turkish president, in a speech to community leaders, made an indirect reference to the Rafale acquired by Greece in an attempt to soften the impressions of the strengthening of the Greek armed forces.

"We build our own planes and unmanned aircraft and in fact we are asked by big countries who claimed that we cannot build them," Erdoğan said.

Finally, the Turkish president stated that his country has become an international production centre, adding: "We maintain our goal to include our country among the top 10 economies in the world."

READ MORE: The first photos of Greek Rafale fighter jets flying over the Acropolis.

The first six Rafale fighter jets that Greece purchased landed at Tanagra Airbase on Wednesday after departing at 09:25 local time (Greek time 10:25) from Istria in France and made an impressive flight over the Acropolis less than two hours later.

In total, Greece will procure 24 Rafale fighter jets, at a total cost of 3.3 billion euros.

The additional contract for the purchase of an additional six new Rafale fighter jets is expected to be signed in the coming weeks, according to Proto Thema.

Two of the six Rafale that arrived in Greece today are the two-seater. These will be used for the training of young pilots, while the other four are single-seater.

The training of eight Greek pilots and 50 aircraft technicians has already been completed, which took place in France.

The Rafale fighters have a range of 2,800 miles and a large fuel capacity, two engines, are equipped with modern and powerful electronic scanning radar and are capable of carrying two Exocet missiles.

READ MORE: Turkish DM Akar: Greece’s alliance with France will cause cracks in NATO.