Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said the Turkish military had withdrawn its troops from a NATO joint exercise in Norway after his name and a picture of Turkey’s founder Mustafa Kemal Atatürk featured on a “table of enemies” at the exercise.
“On this table (of enemies) there was Atatürk’s picture and on one side there was my own name. These were the targets,” he told a meeting of officials from his governing Justice and Development Party (AKP) on Friday, according to broadcaster CNN Türk.
Erdoğan said he had been informed of the issue by Turkey’s chief of staff and European Union minister, who were travelling together to Canada at the time.
“We cannot have this kind of alliance, these kind of allies,” he said.
NATO said the officer who had chosen Erdoğan as a target had been thrown out of the army and that the person who had chosen the picture of Atatürk had been a technician.
In 2006, a minor diplomatic incident broke out over a NATO seminar at which a map of the Middle East incorrectly labelled part of Turkey as Kurdistan.