During NATO's military exercises in Norway, Turkey's founding leader Mustafa Kemal Atatürk and its current President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan were depicted as enemies of the alliance. Moreover, a fake social media account was made for Erdoğan that sent anti-NATO messages.
As the scandal unfolded, the Norwegian government promptly launched an investigation and explained that a civilian contractor hired for the exercise was to blame. The person, a Norwegian citizen of Turkish descent, was immediately removed from the exercise and Norway's government along with NATO's secretary general has publicly presented their apologies.
Whoever is behind this incident, it is clear that the purpose was to provoke a deep crisis among NATO members, especially between Turkey and NATO. By using the pictures of both Atatürk and Erdoğan in the "enemy chart" shows that their problem was not only with the current government, but with Turkey as a whole.
Those behind the scandal seem to have forgotten something. It is true that currently in the West there exists an anti-Erdoğan feeling; in other words it's not for certain that the West is against Turkey entirely, but there is little doubt they are wholly against Erdoğan's presidency.
One would think that Atatürk was, until now, a relatively acceptable Turkish figure in the eyes of the West. So even the Western public opinions seem to be surprised that Erdoğan and Atatürk's pictures were used side by side.
There is an urgent need to overcome this crisis before it is too late. Besides, the incident reflects a quite disturbing truth about NATO. The drills were digitally conducted, and apparently, a single civilian contractor who used a private computer network could manipulate the entire Atlantic Alliance.
The simulation was about the security of the Baltic region, and the purpose was to test the alliance's and the members countries' capabilities, and yet, NATO's own computer system was not secure enough. NATO is seemingly vulnerable to cyber-attacks and it is an alliance unable to know whether or not people they hire are reliable. How will NATO provide security to its members while it can't even protect its own computer network?
Another aspect of the crisis is directly related to Turkey. We know that a number of Turkish officers involved in the July 15 coup attempt have fled to NATO member countries and they are now seeking asylum. So far Turkey has not been able to explain to its allies how the Gülenist Terror Group (FETÖ) is operating. Maybe the incident in Norway will constitute a good example for the West-ern countries to understand what kind of group FETÖ is, and what kind of methods and allies it uses.
A number of Western newspapers claim that this sabotage attempt was just an accident, and besides, there is a reasonable explanation as to how this accident could be possible. According to them, there is confusion about Turkey's place within NATO nowadays.
They say that the ongoing crises between Turkey and Germany or the U.S.; the S-400 missile defense system Turkey has purchased from Russia and Turkey's improving relations with Iran are enough reasons to perceive Turkey as a potential enemy. Those who say that this sabotage was an accident caused by Turkey's recent diplomatic decisions are just helping the sabotage attempt to succeed.
All of Turkey's allies are perfectly aware that Turkey's recent rapprochement with Russia and Iran is about Syria. Turkey has been continuously repeating that it doesn't want to drift apart from the West as a strategic partner. There are players, however, who are equally relentless in sabotaging NATO's relations with Turkey. Maybe it is time for Turkey's allies to take a more constructive stance about Turkey.
Please click to read our informative text prepared pursuant to the Law on the Protection of Personal Data No. 6698 and to get information about the cookies used on our website in accordance with the relevant legislation.
6698 sayılı Kişisel Verilerin Korunması Kanunu uyarınca hazırlanmış aydınlatma metnimizi okumak ve sitemizde ilgili mevzuata uygun olarak kullanılan çerezlerle ilgili bilgi almak için lütfen tıklayınız.