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Erdogan Says Turkey Must Clear Syria's Afrin of Kurdish Militia

18 November, 2017, 02:08 | Author: Kristen Ingram
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The incidents took place during NATO's "Trident Javelin" exercise in the southern Norwegian city of Stavanger aimed at increasing coordination between the allies at headquarters level, which wound up Friday.

"They say, "The central bank is independent, so don't interfere".

NATO's secretary general has apologised to Turkey after a civilian contractor depicted President Recep Tayyip Erdogan as an "enemy collaborator" during a military exercise in Norway.

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg issued a statement saying: "I apologize for the offense caused".

The statement added that a fake account under Erdogan's name was created and a fake chat which showed him collaborating with enemies was posted.

The two incidents drew the ire of Erdogan, who immediately ordered the withdrawal of Turkey's 40 soldiers from the exercise.

Insulting his memory is a criminal offence in Turkey that is punishable by jail.

Ankara prosecutors said in a statement they had opened a criminal investigation against an individual or individuals who had denigrated and insulted Ataturk and Erdogan in the incidents.

"Our embassy in Oslo is also undertaking necessary initiatives with the Norwegian authorities and the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation military authorities in Norway", said the statement. It is not clear what maneuvers Erdogan was referencing.

Under Erdogan, Turkey's relations with NATO's leadership and the European Union have frayed in recent years. Ankara's decision to buy Russian S-400 anti-aircraft systems triggered concerns among its North Atlantic Treaty Organisation member states, including the US.

"The individual in question was immediately removed from the exercise by the Joint Warfare Center, and an investigation is underway".

Stoltenberg added that Turkey is a "valued NATO Ally, which makes important contributions to Allied security".

"It will be for the Norwegian authorities to decide on any disciplinary action", he said. AA said the individual in question was sacked, but Stoltenberg's statement indicates that the person is suspended and under investigation.

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