North Atlantic Treaty Organisation apologizes after Turkish leader listed as enemy during military drill


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.

The second incident occurred when a civilian contractor of the Norwegian military opened an account under the name "Recep Tayyip Erdoğan" in a virtual chat room used as part of the simulation.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan today said Ankara had pulled out 40 Turkish troops from a North Atlantic Treaty Organisation exercise in Norway, in a new outburst of tensions with its Western allies.

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg issued a statement about "the incident at NATO's Joint Warfare Centre in Norway".

They said they had made a decision to withdraw the soldiers. "These are the targets", Erdogan said in a speech to the ruling Justice and Development Party's meeting in Ankara.

"During a North Atlantic Treaty Organisation exercise at the Joint Warfare Center in Stavanger, an exercise message was published on the internal exercise network", Frank Bakke-Jensen said in a statement.

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NATO's website lists two military exercises that are now ongoing in Norway.

"Turkey is a valued North Atlantic Treaty Organisation ally, which makes important contributions to allied security", the statement said. Initially, a technician used a picture of Ataturk he found online to represent enemy ranks.

The Norwegian official has been removed from the exercise, and an inquiry has been ordered to determine how the mistake happened.

During the computer-assisted exercise, a Norwegian official created a dummy military chat account under the president's name, and posted a fake chat showing Erdogan as collaborating with an enemy, a North Atlantic Treaty Organisation official, who asked not to be named due to the nature of the incident, told Anadolu Agency.

"Turkey is a valued NATO Ally, which makes important contributions to Allied security".