02 November 2010
According to media reports, the Turkish government has now identified Israel as a “strategic threat” to Turkey. The ‘Red Book’, which is drawn up by Turkey's National Security Council and amended every five years, accuses Israel of being a destabilizing force and says Israeli actions could provoke a regional arms race.
Some reports also suggest that Iran, considered a major security threat by Turkey's NATO allies, has been removed from the Red Book. Although the contents of the documents are officially kept secret, leaks to the Turkish press indicate that the government in Ankara wants to send a strong message to Jerusalem. Turkey continues to demand an apology and compensation from Israel for the IDF raid of a Gaza-bound flotilla in on 31 May in which nine Turkish activists were killed. Israel maintains its soldiers acted in self-defense. Earlier this month, Ankara voiced suspicions that a NATO missile shield aimed at Iran was prompted by Israeli security concerns.
On Tuesday, Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said the rumors about Israel being classified as a strategic threat were “baseless” and “ill-intentioned". He was quoted as saing: "The allegations that appeared in the Israeli press have no grounds. They are an example of speculative and provocative reports that we have seen very often in the Israeli press recently. However, Davutoglu declined to reveal whether the Red Book cites Israel as a threat and said its content was confidential.
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