Turkish officials stressed that the recent incident, which targeted Mustafa Kemal Atatürk and President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan during a NATO drill, will not be left unanswered.
Speaking to Parliament's budget commission yesterday, National Defense Minister Nurettin Canikli demanded a detailed investigation of the incident, in which Atatürk, the founding leader of the Republic of Turkey, and President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan were targeted, with an aim of revealing the motivation behind it.
Canikli said "the scandal in NATO will not be left unanswered."
Turkey had withdrawn its troops from the Trident Javelin exercise in Norway last week after a Norwegian official depicted President Erdoğan as an "enemy collaborator."
Following the incident, the Norwegian official was removed from the exercise while NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg and Norwegian Defense Minister Frank Bakke-Jensen apologized to Turkey.
Turkish officials condemned the incident stressing that such hostility toward Turkey, which is a NATO member country, is unacceptable. Ankara has demanded that NATO should fully investigate the incident to find out who was responsible.
Meanwhile, Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu said an investigation is already underway in relation to the issue. He also demanded that all aspects of the incident are revealed as well as the chain of command involved in the drill.
On Wednesday, Ankara also brought the incident to the NATO Parliamentary Assembly.
Ahmed Berat Conkar, the head of the Turkish delegation, said "the NATO drill incident was motivated by ill-intentioned elements which have infiltrated into NATO and hold a grudge against Turkey and its government."
Commenting on the issue yesterday, Deputy Prime Minister Hakan Çavuşoğlu highlighted that Turkey has a firm stance against the attempts of defamation and hostile attitudes toward it.
He said that Turkey has received various apologies from NATO officials over the incident. NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg issued a statement saying, "I apologize for the offence caused," and added that "Turkey is a valued NATO ally, which makes important contributions to allied security."
Meanwhile, Stoltenberg also personally apologized for the incident when he came together with Chief of General Staff Gen. Hulusi Akar in a meeting held in Halifax, Canada.
President Erdoğan announced last week that Turkey withdrew its 40 troops from the planned NATO drill in response to the incident.
Following Erdoğan's remarks, NATO said two separate incidents occurred regarding 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.
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