Erdogan said that the purpose of provocation on the NATO exercises were not he, and Turkey

© AFP 2017 / Adem AltanПрезидент Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Archival photoErdogan said that the purpose of provocation on the NATO exercises were not he, and Turkey© 2017 AFP / Adem Altan

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that the aim of the scandal at the NATO exercise Trident Javelin, which took place 8-17 July in Norway, was not he, but Turkey itself and its people.

Earlier, the Turkish leader said that the organizers of the exercises on the stand with the portraits of «enemies» posted a picture of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, the founder of the Turkish Republic, and he himself has made to the list of conditional opponents of NATO. According to Erdogan, the head of the Turkish General staff, who informed him of this, withdrew 40 Turkish soldiers participating in the exercises of the Alliance. The Turkish authorities supported this decision.

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg has apologized for the damage Ankara, insults, and the Minister of defence of Norway Frank Bakke-Jensen expressed regret, however, Erdogan felt that it is not enough.

«They put Ataturk and me to stand with targets on NATO exercises and sparked a scandal… This question is not a personal or party. The target was Turkey and the Turkish people. We are ready to everything», — said Erdogan, speaking before the activists of the ruling Party of justice and development in the Turkish province of Bayburt. The broadcast was led by the TV channel NTV.

The President called positive the support that the opposition supported the government in this situation.

The Turkish foreign Ministry earlier promised to do a follow-up in the organization will punish the guilty in the scandal, as such actions «are unacceptable and worthy of the strongest condemnation».