NATO has signed off on yet another scandal targeting Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan after it deemed him as the “enemy” in a 2017 military drill.
In its media briefing following the Trident Juncture military exercises in November 2018, NATO used a magazine cover of the Times in which Erdoğan was portrayed, along with Russian and Hungarian leaders Putin and Orban, in an attempt to discredit the Turkish leader.
The Times cover depicted Erdoğan as a “strongman,” a leader who rules by the exercise of threats, force, or violence.
Trident Juncture started on Oct. 25, 2018 and was NATO's largest military exercise since the Cold War involving 50,000 troops in an area stretching from the Baltic Sea to Iceland.
About 250 aircraft, 65 vessels and up to 10,000 vehicles participated in the wargames.
NATO’s scandalous “Trident Javelin” military exercise in 2017 is still being criticized by many, as it targeted Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, the founder of modern Turkey, and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.
A technician in the Norwegian army had put Atatürk’s portrait in the “hostile leader list” as the “dictator” of “Skolken,” a designated enemy country, during a computer-assisted exercise. The scenario of the drill also included a war game that broke out due to the social media content posted by the leader of Skolken. A fake account created by a Norwegian contract military officer of Turkish origin was part of the drill’s scenario. The officer created a fake account named “RTerdogan” and identified Erdoğan as the enemy target, depicting him as an “enemy of NATO” who allegedly made deals that harmed NATO.
In the generic scenario of the drill, there were remarkable similarities between the fictional country of Skolken and Turkey. According to the scenario, Skolken had made important progress in its bid to buy the S-400 defense systems, and Skolken and the manufacturer country of the S-400s had recently developed closer relations.
NATO then declared war against Skolken, following these developments and its leader’s social media posts, the scenario depicted.
Although NATO attempted to gloss over the scandal, saying that “the incidents were the result of an individual’s actions and do not reflect the views of NATO,” the details reveal that this drill was specifically targeting Turkey.