“NATO’s trustworthiness in question” - Erdoğan

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has said that NATO’s trustworthiness has come into question following a recent incident at a Norwegian military exercise at which his and Turkey’s founding president, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, were added to a list of enemies.

“At the time when the threat to our country from Syria is at its peak, NATO has taken back its missile defence systems and given the impression it will not take any action if there is an attack on Turkey,” he told a crowd at a rally in the Black Sea city of Rize on Saturday.

“Its trustworthiness has been called into question for all members,” he said.

Erdoğan said that Turkey had seen who it could trust in the aftermath of Turkey’s invasion of Cyprus – when the United States placed an embargo on the country for 3 years – and linked it to the incident in Norway.

The mistake made by NATO officers in Norway, he added, was of the type "made by scoundrels, not by idiots".

Emphasising that Turkish soil would never be safe until its neighbourhood was secure, Erdoğan said Turkey would act to end conflicts in Syria, Iraq, Libya and the Gulf.

“Geography is destiny, and we will not flee our destiny,” he said.