Turkey does not intend to sever relations with NATO after the recent incident during the exercises in Norway, the Turkish media cited Ibrahim Kalin, spokesman for the Turkish president, as saying today.
Kalin added that Turkey demands thorough investigation of that incident.
Earlier reports reports have been quoting an adviser to president Recep Tayyip Erdogan as saying it’s time for Turkey to review its membership in the NATO military alliance.
Yalcin Topcu’s comments, reported by Cumhuriyet and other media on Monday, came days after Turkey withdrew some 40 troops from a NATO drill in Norway after the country’s founder, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, and Erdogan himself were depicted as enemies.
Turkish President Erdogan said that the country withdrew its servicemen from participation because photos of Turkey’s incumbent president, as well as first president Mustafa Kemal Atatürk were placed as conditional enemy images on the shooting range.
Erdogan added that such behavior does not correspond to the spirit of cooperation and alliance between Turkey and NATO.
NATO’s secretary-general and Norway’s government apologized to Turkey over the incident, which Turkish officials have described as one of the “greatest scandals” in the alliance’s history.