Turkey: We need defense cooperation with non-NATO countries

Turkey's foreign minister says Ankara needs defense cooperation with countries outside NATO because some Western partners are unwilling to sell his nation equipment or exchange information.

Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu was quoted Monday as telling German daily Bild that Turkey is "one of NATO's biggest supporters." He dismissed speculation that Turkey could ultimately leave the Western alliance, saying the idea is being raised "by anti-Turkish circles, not by us."

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan last week visited Russia on his first foreign trip since a failed military coup on July 15.

Cavusoglu said: "It is clear that we must also cooperate with other partners on buying and selling weapons systems. Because there are NATO partners who, for example, deny us the sale of air defense systems or the exchange of information."