ANKARA, July 18 (Xinhua) -- Turkey will not purchase foreign military equipment unless it is absolutely necessary, the country's head of defense industry said Thursday.
Ismail Demir's remarks, without giving further details, came after a U.S. move to exclude the country from the F-35 fighter jet program.
According to the state-run Anadolu Agency, Demir said that Turkish defense companies would face temporary losses after the Washington's decision, but insisted that the Turkish "industry will become stronger," blasting the U.S. move as "unilateral" and "illegitimate."
The Turkish official also said that removing Turkey from the program would affect other partners of the massive project.
Earlier on Wednesday, the United States announced it is removing Turkey from the F-35 stealth aircraft program, following Ankara's purchase of the Russian S-400 missile defense system.
Ankara slammed the U.S. decision, branding it as "unfair" and "illegitimate," warning that it will damage ties between the two key NATO allies.
Turkey planned buying more than 100 F-35 fighter jets and its defense companies were also involved in producing the modern jets.