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Erdogan flirts with fire as sparks fly over missile deal

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan seems to almost revel in the controversy over Turkey's planned purchase of a Russian missile system even as pressure mounts to scrap it and stakes continue to rise.
Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan walks past a guard of honour as he attends a meeting with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin at the Kremlin in Moscow, Russia April 8, 2019. Sputnik/Alexei Nikolsky/Kremlin via REUTERS  ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY. - RC139E354840

Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has reaffirmed his determination to install a Russian S-400 missile system on Turkish soil, saying he could even move delivery forward despite ever louder warnings from Washington of the likely damage the move would do to Turkey’s status within the NATO alliance.

Speaking to a handful of his favorite media representatives en route home from Moscow, where he met with his new ally Russian President Vladimir Putin, Erdogan seemed to almost revel in the controversy. “Wherever we go, they ask us ‘Are you buying [the S-400s] or not?’ We respond that ‘This is our finalized deal, everything is in order.’ Delivery of the S-400 is scheduled for July.” He went further, saying, "Delivery may be moved forward.”

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