NATO officer designating Erdogan as enemy Norwegian Kurd: Turkey media

Protests called for Turkey's leaving the North Atlantic Alliance over depiction of Ataturk and Erdogan as adversaries.

ERBIL, Kurdistan Region (Kurdistan 24) - The NATO officer from Norway who designated Turkey's founder Kemal Ataturk and President Recep Tayyip Erdogan as fictitious adversaries during a drill this week was Kurdish, claimed Turkish media.

The incident announced by Erdogan on Friday led to the withdrawal of 40 Turkish troops participating in NATO's Trident Javelin drill at a joint warfare center in Norway.

The major daily Hurriyet reported that the Norwegian officer was a Kurd with origins from Turkey but did not provide any official source or confirmation.

Overnight, the youth wing of Erdogan's ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) in the province of Izmir gathered in front of the Allied Land Command Headquarters of NATO there and protested the alliance.

Anti-American, Eurasianist Homeland Party led by the veteran left-wing nationalist Dogu Perincek also held a protest in Istanbul, reiterating its call on Ankara to leave NATO for good.

"We find this regrettable, unethical and unacceptable," read a press release on the website of the Foreign Ministry.

"The execution of the necessary punitive measures for the perpetrators of this appalling incident will be closely monitored," it said.

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg has already apologized to the Turkish Chief of Staff Hulusi Akar in person and in a letter during a meeting in Canada's Halifax.

He said the Norwegian staff responsible for depicting Erdogan and Ataturk as the enemy was relieved from duty.

On Saturday, Erdogan continued to criticize the incident, questioning NATO's reliability for his country's security interests.

"Some mistakes are done not by idiots but lowlives," he said of NATO.

"This is not something that can be forgotten with a simple apology. We already got the S-400s, the deal is done," Erdogan said, praising his $2.5 billion-worth deal with Moscow to acquire Russian defense missiles.


Editing by Sam A.