Turkey withdraws troops from North Atlantic Treaty Organisation drills in Norway

The 34-year old businessman who is troubling Turkey

North Atlantic Treaty Organisation has taken "disciplinary action" against an individual over an incident in which Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and the country's modern founder Mustafa Kemal Ataturk were portrayed as enemies, the alliance's secretary general has said.

"I ordered the immediate pull out of our troops, even if they remove the chart".

Nato Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, a former Norwegian prime minister, apologised for upsetting Turkey , a key member of the alliance but one which has caused disquiet recently with its increasingly close relations with Russian Federation.

Reports said that an image of the "enemy" in the mock exercise was actually a photo of modern Turkey's founder, Mustafa Kemal Ataturk.

"The United States has disappointed us a lot, saying that it fights Daesh (the Islamic State group) but in reality it gave them a lot of support", said the head of state at a meeting of the Justice and Development Party, AKP, the ruling party of Turkey.

"The individual in question was immediately removed from the exercise by the Joint Warfare Center, and an investigation is underway". Initially, a technician used a picture of Ataturk he found online to represent enemy ranks. "I apologise for the offense that has been caused".

The NATO chief also said Turkey is an important ally for NATO and that he would take all necessary precautions to avoid a repeat of such an incident. "He was a civilian contractor seconded by Norway and not a NATOemployee".

Norway's Defence Minister Frank Bakke-Jensen issued a statement of apology for the incident, which he blamed on a single individual.

Turkey's candidacy for membership of the European Union has also effectively stalled, and the union was critical of President Erdogan's crackdown on academia and the judiciary following an attempted military coup a year ago. The five officers said that they feared being arrested and tortured in Turkey.



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