NATO should take steps that will prevent such cases in future, says Deputy Prime Minister Bekir Bozdag

Deputy Prime Minister Bekir Bozdag on Saturday said there is an “international cooperation” against President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

"This [international cooperation] reached a level that gave a soldier courage to show the founder and current leader of a NATO country as an enemy target during an exercise," said Bozdag speaking to reporters in southeastern Sirnak.

Turkey withdrew from the Trident Javelin exercise after a civilian Norwegian official depicted Turkish Erdogan as an "enemy collaborator" during a bloc exercise in Norway.

On Friday, Erdogan told ruling Justice and Development (AK) Party members in capital Ankara that a portrait of Turkey’s founder Mustafa Kemal Ataturk was also shown in the ‘hostile leader list’ during the computer-assisted exercise.

"Until now NATO has not seen a scandal like this. Neither the world did," Bozdag said, adding that NATO should take necessary steps that will prevent such incidents in the future.

Bozdag welcomed the removal of those responsible from the incident and the apology of NATO secretary-general. However, he added that those who run NATO also have responsibility to take.

A Norwegian national was removed from the exercise as a consequence of the incident.

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg and Norwegian Defense Minister Frank Bakke-Jensen have apologized to Turkey over the incident.

Bozdag also announced Prof. Huriye Marti from Necmettin Erbakan University has been appointed as the deputy president of the country's religious authority Diyanet.

Bozdag added that Marti will assume her office on Monday.

She has become the first-ever woman to be appointed as deputy president of Diyanet.

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