North Atlantic Treaty Organisation apologizes to Turkey over reports Erdogan shown as foe

Lavrov: Putin-Erdogan-Rouhani meeting to encourage Damascus-opposition talks

North Atlantic Treaty Organisation apologizes to Turkey over reports Erdogan shown as foe

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.

"And I said "Absolutely, don't hesitate, take them out right now".

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

According to reports, the Norwegian official reportedly created a dummy military chat account and named it "Erdogan", and called "Erdogan" a collaborator.

The two incidents drew the ire of Erdogan, who immediately ordered the withdrawal of Turkey's 40 soldiers from the exercise. After Turkish officers confirmed the incident, the technician was dismissed from duty.

Ankara prosecutors said in a statement they had opened a criminal investigation against an individual or individuals who had denigrated and insulted Ataturk and Erdogan in the incidents.

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On the November 10 anniversary of Ataturk's death in 1938, Erdogan eulogised Turkey's first president, saying he should be remembered with "grace and gratitude".

Under Erdogan, Turkey's relations with NATO's leadership and the European Union have frayed in recent years.

Stoltenberg said in the statement that the incident which happened during a recently concluded exercise at NATO's Joint Warfare Center in Stavanger was "the result of an individual's actions and did not reflect the NATO's views".

The Director of the Information and Press Department of the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Maria Zajarova, said that some testimonies indict the US military and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, NATO, for supporting the Islamic State group in Afghanistan.

Stoltenberg added that Turkey is a "valued NATO Ally, which makes important contributions to Allied security". "It will be for the Norwegian authorities to decide on any disciplinary action". "North Atlantic Treaty Organisation has been in contact with the Norwegian authorities on this issue".

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