Ankara - Turkey says Washington’s decision to exclude Ankara from an American-led fighter jet programme goes against the “spirit of alliance” and is calling for it to reverse the decision.

In a major break with a longtime ally, US President Donald Trump’s administration on Wednesday said Turkey is being kicked out of the F-35 programme because it is buying the Russian S-400 air defence system. The United States says the S-400 would compromise the F-35 programme and aid Russian intelligence.

Turkey’s Foreign Ministry on Thursday rejected that assertion and said the decision lacked “legitimate justification”.

Turkey began taking delivery of the S-400s last week.

The ministry said: “We call on the United States to come back from this mistake that will cause irreparable damage to our strategic ties.”