Erdogan says Turkey troops pulled from North Atlantic Treaty Organisation drill amid new tensions

Erdogan says Turkey troops pulled from North Atlantic Treaty Organisation drill amid new tensions

Erdogan says Turkey troops pulled from North Atlantic Treaty Organisation drill amid new tensions

Turkish Republic founder Kemal Ataturk was also named as an "enemy" in the same briefing, prompting apologies from both Norway and North Atlantic Treaty Organisation.

The commander of the Joint Warfare Centre, Major General Andrzej Reudowicz of Poland, also apologised to the Turkish government, the report quoted a North Atlantic Treaty Organisation official as saying.

Norway's defence minister apologized on Friday after Turkey made a decision to withdraw its troops from a North Atlantic Treaty Organisation military exercise in the Nordic country in protest of an "unacceptable" incident.

The 40 Turkish soldiers participating in a North Atlantic Treaty Organisation drill in Norway were withdrawn after authorities were notified that Turkey's founder and first president, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, and current President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan were both depicted as "enemies".

President Erdogan says move comes after his name, picture of Ataturk used in "enemy chart" during drill.

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Turkey, which became a member of North Atlantic Treaty Organisation in 1952, is a key member of the alliance but tensions have grown in recent months over its crackdown after the failed coup and Ankara's increasingly close alliance with Russian Federation. "These are the targets", Erdogan said in a speech to the ruling Justice and Development Party's meeting in Ankara.

"The incidents were the result of an individual's actions and do not reflect the views of NATO", Stoltenberg said.

According to Stoltenberg, a third-party worker, not a North Atlantic Treaty Organisation employee, was responsible for the act of including Erdogan on the list. Initially, a technician used a picture of Ataturk he found online to represent enemy ranks.

Another incident involved a Norwegian officer of Turkish origin, who opened a fake Erdoğan account on NATO's internal social media network and posted anti-alliance comments in the name of the president, according to the Daily Sabah.

"The Norwegian national was removed from the exercise by JWC as a outcome of the incident. Turkey is an important ally in North Atlantic Treaty Organisation, and we value our good cooperation", Bakke-Jensen said in a statement.

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