Turkey pulls troops out of NATO exercise over 'enemy' list

Turkey is pulling 40 soldiers out of a NATO exercise in Norway, Erdoğan said, after his name appeared in a list of enemies on a poster at the drill
Friday, 17 November 2017 15:19

Turkey is pulling 40 soldiers out of a NATO exercise in Norway, President Tayyip Erdoğan said on Friday, after his name was included in a list of enemies on a poster at the drill. NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg issued a statement saying: "I apologize for the offense caused."

Details of the incident were sketchy. Erdoğan said Atatürk's, modern Turkey's founder, picture and his own name were featured on an "enemy chart" during the drills. The individual who posted the material was described as a Norwegian civil contractor seconded by Norway, and not a NATO employee.

In an address to his ruling AKP party's provincial leaders on Friday, Erdoğan said he had personally instructed the immediate withdrawal of the Turkish troops "even if those names are removed" from the table.

"There can be no such unity, no such alliance," he said.

Stoltenberg has issued a letter of apology over the incident. "I have been informed about offence caused in a recently concluded exercise at NATO’s Joint Warfare Centre in Stavanger, Norway. I apologise 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 said.