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The Editors

Turkey’s Latest Incitement Can’t Go Unanswered

By defiantly buying a Russian missile-defense system, Erdogan has gone too far.

Pick your friends carefully.

Pick your friends carefully.

Photographer: Maxim Shipenkov/AFP/Getty Images

It’s time for NATO to call Turkey’s bluff. President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said once again last week that his controversial plan to purchase a Russian missile-defense system is a “done deal” — even though the U.S. had warned that this could give Russia access to NATO’s air-defense secrets. 

Amid an escalating war of words, this threat shouldn’t be minimized. Russia’s system, the S-400, could shoot down NATO fighter jets, and Moscow’s engineers are expected to help Turkey run it once the purchase is completed. That might give Russia insight into sensitive U.S. technology — especially that used by the F-35 stealth fighter, which Turkey is helping to build.