By Ercan Canbolat and Bilgin S. Sasmaz
Turkey's EU Affairs Minister Omer Celik on Sunday called for investigating the chain of command involved in the NATO drill in Norway during which the reputation of Turkish president and founder were tarnished.
Turkey withdrew from the Trident Javelin exercise in Norway on Friday after a civilian Norwegian official depicted President Recep Tayyip Erdogan as an "enemy collaborator".
The Norwegian national was removed from the exercise following the incident; NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg and Norwegian Defense Minister Frank Bakke-Jensen also apologized to Turkey.
Speaking at the 9th annual Halifax International Security Forum in Canada, Celik said the commander under whom the Norwegian civilian worked must also be investigated.
“Is there no any chain of command? Does he [the civilian contracted person] not have a commander?” Celik said, underlining that this command chain should be investigated and necessary steps should be taken.
He added that NATO -- an alliance that aims to ensure the security of its member states -- should ensure the security of its drills.
Turkey would continue to monitor the investigation of the incident and would like to ensure that such incidents did not happen ever again, he said.
He said the incident was similar to the method used by the
“They [FETO] are using all their assets to harm Turkey, for creating some negative developments in Turkey. This is very similar to the method they use.”
FETO, led-by U.S. based leader
About the EU decision to cut €150 billion ($177 billion) pre-accession fund for Turkey, he said: “It does not mean anything financially to Turkey”.
The EU was scheduled to provide €4.5 billion ($5.31 billion) to Turkey between 2014 and 2020 as part of its support to the country in its pre-membership phase.
“You envisage to provide this fund to Turkey on the one hand and then exhibit a serious lack of vision by cutting the fund on the other hand,” the EU affairs minister said.
“While the EU expresses solidarity with Turkey on migrant and counter-terrorism issues, we don’t see a similar solidarity for strengthening democracy and rule of law in Turkey,” he said.
He added the bloc withdrew some
The EU and Turkey started membership negotiations in 2005, but the talks entered into a stalemate due to the Cyprus issue and the opposition of several EU governments to Ankara’s full membership.
Ankara’s relations with several EU member states, including Germany suffered further setbacks in recent months, as Turkish leaders slammed their counterparts for not showing solidarity with Ankara over the defeated coup attempt in 2016, and providing support to groups hostile to Turkey.