Turkey withdraws troops from NATO military exercise

  • Jakub Maděránek
  • 20.11.2017 09:35

On Friday 17 November, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan ordered the withdrawal of 40 troops from the ongoing military drill at NATO Joint Warfare Center in Stavanger, Norway, in reaction to two particular incidents during the exercise. The first incident was the use of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk's photo as a target in a simulated drill, the second was the creation of a fake Erdogan account on the Alliance's internal social network by a Norwegian officer and its subsequent posts aimed against the organisation.

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg offered an apology for the incidents and highlighted Turkey's importance as a member of the Alliance. The Norwegian officers responsible for the incidents were removed from the exercise and are currently under investigation. The deteriorating relationship between Turkey and NATO is also reflected in Turkey's acquisition of the Russian S-400 air-defence system which triggered controversy across the Alliance. Although Stoltenberg tried to moderate the negative perceptions of the acquisition, the United States' stance on it is still unclear. However, according to a top US Air Force officer, the acquisition could prevent Turkey's access to NATO technology and negatively affect the planned purchase of F-35 jets.

About author: Jakub Maděránek

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