NATO deletes photo of Turkish divers unfurling flag in Greek waters
The Turkish Defense Ministry shared four photos of an Underwater Defense (SAS) team deactivating mines and holding a Turkish flag on its official Twitter account on May 19.
“Our mine hunter vessel TCG Akçakoca visited the Souda Harbor in Crete as part of its attendance to the Ariadne-19 exercise hosted by Greece,” the tweet read.
“Our SAS teams detected two practice mines and an IED,” it added.
The tweet was at first retweeted by the U.K.-based NATO Allied Maritime Command’s (MARCOM) Twitter account. However, the retweet was deleted soon.
“Greece’s Ministry of Defense said the move from Turkey was a ‘blunt’ provocation and demanded the image be removed by NATO, who are currently investigating why the image was retweeted in the first place,” Greek news portal greekcitytimes.com said on March 21.
“An under-sea photo showing two Turkish frogmen posing with a Turkish flag in a sea area north of the Greek island of Crete was taken down from the Twitter account of the NATO Allied Maritime Command [MARCOM] on March 20 after protests lodged by the Hellenic Navy at the prompting of Defense Minister Evangelos Apostolakis,” the Greek daily’s website ekathimerini.com also reported on March 20.
MARCOM retweeted another tweet by the Turkish Defense Ministry showing a Turkish frigate in a joint action with the French Navy.
The exercise hosted by Greece was carried out between March 14 and 21.