NATO chief apologized to President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on Saturday after a civilian Norwegian official depicted the Turkish leader as an "enemy collaborator" during a bloc exercise in Norway, according to a presidential source.
NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg made the apology over the phone, the source, who spoke on condition of anonymity due to restrictions on talking to the media, said.
Turkey withdrew from the Trident Javelin exercise after the incident in Norway on Friday.
A portrait of Turkey’s founder Mustafa Kemal Ataturk was also shown in the "hostile leader list" during a computer-assisted exercise.
In the phone call, Stoltenberg also informed the Turkish president that an inquiry had been initiated by the commanding officer and the contracted Norwegian technician involved in the incident was terminated immediately.
The NATO chief also said Turkey is an important ally for NATO and that he would take all necessary precautions to avoid a repeat of such an incident.
He hoped the scandal would not adversely affect relations between NATO and Turkey, the source said.
Stoltenberg had also apologized to Turkey over the incident on Friday.
Erdoğan condemns 'impudence' during NATO drill
President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said Saturday an apology was not enough to solve the NATO enemy chart problem, and added that NATO’s credibility was now dubious.“Yesterday, you have witnessed the impudence at NATO exercise in Norway. The credibility of NATO has become questionable in the eyes of all member states. Some mistakes are not made by fools but by scum. The disrespectful behavior at the NATO drill cannot be solved with a simple apology,” Erdoğan said."I understand this impudence that targets me and founder of our republic Ghazi Mustafa Kemal Atatürk as a reflection of a distorted point of view that we observe in NATO for a while," the president added.Turkish officials have slammed the incident during a NATO drill in Norway. Turkey withdrew from the Trident Javelin exercise after a civilian Norwegian official depicted Erdoğan as an "enemy collaborator" during a bloc exercise.On Friday, Erdoğan told ruling Justice and Development (AK Party) Party members in capital Ankara that a portrait of Turkey’s founder Mustafa Kemal Atatürk was also shown in the ‘hostile leader list’ during the computer-assisted exercise.A Norwegian national was removed from the exercise as a consequence of the incident, and NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg and Norwegian Defense Minister Frank Bakke-Jensen have apologized to Turkey.Deputy PM slams NATO enemy chartS-400 purchase“The reaction put forward when we attempted to purchase the S-400 from Russia to defend our own security confirms this fallacy. I would like to call out to all our NATO allies. We bought the S-400 system. We are currently discussing financing. We will not allow anyone to threaten us with their technology,” Erdoğan said.Turkey has "completed" the purchase of the S-400 air-defense system from Russia, Turkish Defense Minister Nurettin Canikli said on Nov. 11.The S-400 is Russia’s most advanced long-range anti-aircraft missile system and can carry three types of missiles capable of destroying targets, including ballistic and cruise missiles.“Those who are trying to limit Turkey in the international arena by supporting terrorist organizations against us in Syria and Iraq. How can we believe those who say that they are fighting terrorism?” Erdoğan said.Turkey says purchase of S-400 from Russia 'completed'Turkey will save Syria's Idlib and Manbij“We will save Syria’s Idlib. We will also clear Manbij and deliver it to its rightful owners. We will save Afrin. We will eliminate all terror threats to Turkey in Iraq’s Qandil. We will work to prevent a quarrel among brothers in the Gulf,” said Erdoğan.Erdogan has previously said that Afrin would be on Ankara's agenda after its current operation in Syria's Idlib province, where Turkey and Russia have set up observation points under a "de-escalation" deal reached by Ankara, Moscow and Tehran to ease the bloodshed in the six-year-old Syrian conflict.Turkish troops will be deployed to strategic points in Idlib, near its border with Afrin and Manbij, to monitor the region to prevent clashes between Syrian opposition fighters and Assad regime forces as well as outline a plan for an upcoming operation in the other two areas. The Turkish military has already established six observation posts across Idlib.Turkish presidential aide slams US over PKK-Daesh dealPKK/PYD chemical weapons threaten 6 mln civilians in Turkey'Turkey has evidence of US arming terror groups'Assad regime shelling kills 7 civilians in E.GhoutaCease-fire in Syria’s E. Ghouta ‘over’, observers say
Turkey’s opposition seeks more than apology from NATO
Turkish main opposition party leader on Saturday said that the incident during the NATO drill in Norway cannot be just evaded with an apology.Turkey withdrew from the Trident Javelin exercise after a civilian Norwegian official depicted Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan as an "enemy collaborator" during a bloc exercise in Norway.On Friday, Erdoğan told ruling Justice and Development (AK) Party members in capital Ankara that a portrait of Turkey’s founder Mustafa Kemal Atatürk was also shown in the ‘hostile leader list’ during the computer-assisted exercise.Speaking at an event in Ankara on Saturday, Republican People's Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu said they cannot accept the “insult” towards Turkey's history and today's Turkey.He said they expect a satisfactory statement from the NATO officials regarding the incident."It is not a topic that can be avoided with an ordinary 'we apologize' thing," Kılıçdaroğlu said, adding "Nobody can insult Turkey's (current) executives and history. We strongly condemn this.”NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg and Norwegian Defense Minister Frank Bakke-Jensen have apologized to Turkey over the incident.Deputy PM slams NATO enemy chartNorway apologizes to Turkey over NATO drill incidentTurkey to monitor legal proceedings over NATO incident
Deputy PM slams NATO enemy chart
Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Bekir Bozdağ said on Saturday Turkey strongly condemned the enemy chart incident at a NATO drill in Norway.“We strongly condemn those who conducted this dishonorable action. NATO’s apology is important, but I believe they also have some responsibility in the incident. All necessary actions should be taken regarding those who did this,” Bozdağ said.Bozdağ added that there is an “international cooperation” against President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan."This [international cooperation] reached a level that gave a soldier courage to show the founder and current leader of a NATO country as an enemy target during an exercise," said Bozdağ speaking to reporters in southeastern Şırnak."Until now NATO has not seen a scandal like this. Neither did the world," Bozdağ said, adding that NATO should take necessary steps that will prevent such incidents in the future.Turkey to monitor legal proceedings over NATO incidentBozdağ welcomed the removal of those responsible from the incident and the apology of NATO secretary-general. However, he added that those who run NATO also have responsibility to take.A Norwegian national was removed from the exercise as a consequence of the incident. Erdoğan was depicted as an “enemy collaborator” during the drill."There was an incident in Norway," Erdogan told ruling Justice and Development (AK) Party members in Ankara on Friday."They used an enemy chart in Norway. In that chart, there was my name and [Mustafa Kemal] Atatürk's picture."Norway apologizes to Turkey over NATO drill incidentImmediately after the incident, Turkey withdrew from the Trident Javelin exercise, Erdoğan announced.Following the incident, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg has apologized to Turkey. In a written statement, Stoltenberg said: "I apologize for the offense that has been caused. The incidents were the result of an individual’s actions and do not reflect the views of NATO."Stoltenberg’s statement said that the individual in question "was immediately removed from the exercise by the Joint Warfare Centre, and an investigation is underway"."He was a civilian contractor seconded by Norway and not a NATO employee. It will be for the Norwegian authorities to decide on any disciplinary action," he also said.Stoltenberg added that Turkey is a "valued NATO Ally, which makes important contributions to Allied security."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 NATO official.