The exercise aims to provide training for mine and mortar planning, execution, and to improve the cooperation of mine mortar elements of different countries.

Turkish units during exercise Mavi Balina.
Turkish units during exercise Mavi Balina. (NATO)

Turkey will host a NATO drill on Friday with the participation of naval, air force and coast guard commanders as well as troops from Turkey and NATO countries.

Observers from various countries will also participate in the drill named ”Nusret-2017.“

The drill comes in the wake of the recent drill incident in Norway which prompted a strong reaction from Ankara.

Turkey withdrew its troops from NATO's Trident Javelin exercise in Norway on November 16 after a Norwegian official depicted President Recep Tayyip Erdogan as an "enemy collaborator."

A portrait of republic’s founder Mustafa Kemal Ataturk was also shown in the "hostile leader list" during a computer-assisted exercise of the drill.

The exercise aims to provide training for mine and mortar planning, execution, and to improve the cooperation of mine mortar elements of different countries.

Dubbed “Nusret” – after a famous Turkish minelayer – the annual exercise is organised by the Turkish Naval Forces. 

Participants will also test finding and neutralising mines, using divers, sonar as well as remotely operated vehicles.

According to a statement from the Naval Forces Command, the exercise will be conducted in the Gulf of Saros, an inlet of the northern Aegean Sea and will last until December 3.

"The incident would never happen again"

The NATO chief has reassured Turkey that the incident involving a civilian Norwegian official who depicted the Turkish leader as an "enemy collaborator" during an exercise in Norway would not happen again.

"So we highly value the contributions of Turkey to the alliance and therefore we have to make sure that instances like this do not occur again," NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg said. (AA)

Speaking in a news conference in Brussels on Thursday, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg recalled that he had apologised to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan over a telephone conversation.

"I'm now also looking into the procedures to make sure that something like this not to happen again," he said.

"I also met with the minister for EU affairs [Omer Celik] and his chief of staff [Hulusi] Akar in Halifax this weekend and I expressed my apologies to them for the offenses caused. I also reassured them that our military authorities are now looking into how to make sure that something like this does not to happen in the future," he added.

The chief also said Turkey was an important ally for NATO adding that, "Turkey is contributing to the alliance in many different ways, in the fight against terrorism bordering Iraq and Syria."

Source: AA