The Halifax International Security Forum apologized on Tuesday for the tactless use of a photograph of Turkish Chief of General Staff Gen. Hulusi Akar on Twitter, following a conference in Canada.
"We are sorry for any misunderstanding and inconvenience caused by the photograph that we used from the internet to introduce Gen. Akar," the Canadia-based security forum said in a statement. "We were very proud to host Gen. Hulusi Akar, commander of the Turkish Armed Forces, and Ömer Çelik, the minister of EU Affairs."
The apology came three days after the forum announced Akar's speech on Twitter, which was met with heavy criticism by Turkish social media amid deteriorating relations with the U.S. and the latest scandal with NATO.
The message was accompanied by a photograph of the general, which was taken right after the July 15 coup attempt. In the photo, a bruise on Akar's neck is clearly visible, which occurred during scuffles with pro-coup officers and soldiers loyal to the Gülenist Terror Group (FETÖ).The photo was met with criticism on social media, with several people asking if the photo was "also a coincidence."
The social media users were referring to the latest scandal where during NATO's Trident Javelin exercise in Norway, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and the Turkish Republic's founder Mustafa Kemal Atatürk were pictured on a list as "enemies."
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