Deputy Prime Minister and government spokesman Bekir Bozdağ said Saturday that the NATO "enemy chart" incident was a huge scandal, condemning a military drill in Norway during which President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and the founder of the Republic of Turkey, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, were depicted as enemies.
Speaking to the press in southeastern Şırnak province, Bozdağ also underlined that Turkey has been providing great support in maintaining international and regional peace as one of the founding NATO members.
NATO previously revealed that two separate incidents occurred with regard to Erdoğan and Atatürk.
Initially, a technician used a picture of Atatürk he found online to represent enemy ranks. After Turkish officers confirmed the incident, the technician was dismissed from duty.
Another incident involved a Norwegian officer of Turkish origin, who opened a fake Erdoğan account on NATO's internal social media network and posted anti-alliance comments in the name of the president. After confirming the incident with Turkish officers at naval forces command, the officer responsible for the incident was also dismissed.
The incidents sparked outrage in Turkey, leading to the withdrawal of 40 troops from a planned NATO drill.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs said late Friday that criminal procedures against the perpetrators would be closely followed by Turkey, as the Ankara Public Prosecutor's Office launched a separate investigation.
Meanwhile, NATO's Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg personally apologized Friday to Chief of Staff Hulusi Akar in a meeting held in Canada's Halifax.