Turkey furious despite North Atlantic Treaty Organisation apology over Atatürk, Erdoğan insults

18 November, 2017, 00:06 | Author: Ora Austin
  • Lavrov: Putin-Erdogan-Rouhani meeting to encourage Damascus-opposition talks

NATO's secretary general has apologised to Turkey after a civilian contractor depicted President Recep Tayyip Erdogan as an "enemy collaborator" during a military exercise in Norway.

"The individual in question was immediately removed from the exercise by the Joint Warfare Centre, and an investigation is underway".

The country has the second largest military force in North Atlantic Treaty Organisation, and is involved both in coalition efforts against so-called Islamic State and in Nato's Afghanistan mission. It will be for the Norwegian authorities to decide on any disciplinary action.

According to Anadolu Agency (AA), there were two incidents that occurred during the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation drill between November 8 and November 17. Initially, a technician used a picture of Ataturk he found online to represent enemy ranks.

North Atlantic Treaty Organisation wasn't immediately able to provide any information about the alleged incident.

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Polish Maj. Gen. Andrzej Reudowicz, the commander of the Joint Warfare Center (JWC) in Stavanger, Norway where the exercise took place, has also issued a letter of apology over the incidents, according to the anonymous North Atlantic Treaty Organisation official.

Erdogan said an "enemy poster", featuring his name on one side and a picture of modern Turkey's founder Ataturk, on the other, was unfurled at the training exercise in Norway, prompting a decision by Turkey's military chief and European Union minister to pull the troops out.

He said Turkey's top general Hulusi Akar and EU Affairs Minister Omer Celik - who were on their way to a North Atlantic Treaty Organisation conference in Halifax, Canada - had informed him of the incident.

"They told me that they are withdrawing our 40 soldiers from there [Norway]", Erdogan said. "I told them not to waste a single minute", he said before criticizing the alliance and the allies.

The statement added that a fake account under Erdogan's name was created and a fake chat which showed him collaborating with enemies was posted.

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