Turkey sees ‘international cooperation’ against Erdoğan: Deputy PM
ŞIRNAK - Anadolu Agency
There is an “international cooperation” against President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Deputy Prime Minister Bekir Bozdağ said on Nov. 18.
"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.
Turkey withdrew from the Trident Javelin exercise after a civilian Norwegian official depicted Turkish Erdoğan as an "enemy collaborator" during a bloc exercise in Norway.
On Nov. 17, 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.
"Until now NATO has not seen a scandal like this. Neither the world did," Bozdağ said, adding that NATO should take necessary steps that will prevent such incidents in the future.
Bozdağ 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.
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg and Norwegian Defense Minister Frank Bakke-Jensen have apologized to Turkey over the incident.