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TURKEY: Ankara adds Israel to list of strategic security threats

Flotilla funeral AFP

Turkey and Israel are at it again, but this time it's over reports that Turkey has added Israel to its so-called "Red Book," the top-secret security document that lists the country's threats and enemies.

Israeli tourism minister Stas Misezhnikov struck back on Sunday by calling on Israelis to boycott Turkey as a tourist destination out of "national honor."

According to Turkish media, the Red Book, which is amended every five years, now identifies Israel as a "strategic threat" to Turkey.

The document, which is drawn up by Turkey's National Security Council, accuses Israel of being a destabilizing force and says Israeli actions could provoke a regional arms race.

Conflicting reports emerged over whether or not Iran, considered a major security threat by Turkey's NATO allies, had been removed from the same list.

Although the contents of the Red Book are ostensibly a state secret, leaks to the Turkish press indicate Ankara is losing patience with Israel and wants to send a message.

Turkey continues to demand an apology and compensation from Israel for raiding a Turkish aid flotilla in international waters on May 31 and killing eight Turks and one Turkish-American activist. Israel maintains its soldiers acted in self-defense. A United Nations report released in September found enough evidence to prosecute the Israelis for war crimes including "willful killing" and "torture or unhumane treatment."

But despite evidence to the contrary, Turkish officials repeatedly deny a shift in foreign policy even as tensions with Israel rise and ties with Syria and Iran strengthen. Ankara is also frustrated by the pace of its quest to become a full European Union member. 

Earlier this month, Ankara voiced suspicions that a NATO missile shield aimed at Iran was prompted by Israeli security concerns.

Still, Turkey is not ready to abandon its ties to Israel completely. Last week, Turkish and Israeli scholars gathered in Ankara amid the diplomatic crisis and concluded that relations were salvageable.

Ozlem Tur, a scholar at the Middle East Technical University in Ankara, was quoted by the Turkish newspaper Today's Zaman saying that Turkish-Israeli relations will not improve so long as there is no change in the Palestinian-Israeli peace process.

“Without an apology and compensation, the relations will not go anywhere," she said of the flotilla raid. "Israel has to comply with the results of the U.N. investigation."

-- Meris Lutz in Beirut

Photo: The death of nine Turkish citizens caused widespread outrage in Turkey and may have prompted the inclusion of Israel on a list of security threats. Credit: AFP

Comments () | Archives (16)

Its terrifying to see that an Israeli can be well-educated but can NEVER be an INTELLECTUAL. Because this requires a position above all the “fears” and “taboos”. That's why its a waste of time to discuss World Politics with an Israeli fellow.
Turkish lands were safe haven for Jews who got prosecuted by Western Europeans anytime-everywhere they were seen. Some had mercy on them and put them into the Ghettos. What Turks did was to give them whole Thessaloniki (Today in Greece) and other lands across the Empire so they could build a Jewish community and live freely with obeying their own laws under their own lawmen (Rabbi’s). Turks gave them the right to be existed. I am talking about 1400’s… This Turkish perspective HAS NEVER CHANGED until Israel sees herself above NON-JEWS (their independence after 5000 years) and disrespects their Turkish Masters who initially gifted them their LIVES. Israel's Founders; David Ben-Gurion and Yitzhak Ben-Zvi studied law in Istanbul in early 1900's so they could become "Turkish Diplomats" and fight for Israel's existence. I guess today's young Israelis start their history from 1948.

Of course you don't expect Everyone to fully understand and analyze history. Today, Israel is just a little state which fears of being blown up by “Muslim Hands”. And this can be Turks because they are Muslims. A 5th grader would come up with something more complex. That IS what I call the mentality of STONE AGE. Or 1930’s Germany which every Jew was blamed of being evil. I am sorry but I’m sick of those Israelis got together like they conquered Rome in front of Turkish Embassy after their "commandos" killed activists on International waters.

Thank God Turks are wise enough to follow the diplomatic ways; otherwise, Israel herself would become a “Gaza-Like” camp under the mighty Turkish Army in less than a week.

@elliotlessing I am afraid the main problem is that Israeli Government and some extremest Israelis do not seem to respect to anyone, including USA. I think when Americans do start to realize this, things will change a lot. Dear 'Elliotlessing', if you stop respecting to your friends when they tell your mistakes, you will lose all your friends.

Does anyone still respect Turkey?

I do not understand why Israeli Politicians do not apologize for killing 8 Turkish and 1 American citizens in the international waters, while Israel has already many enemies. Everyone can make a mistake. This is a clear mistake of the Israeli Army. Politicians should not let 100 years of good-relations go away just because of this. Both Turkish and Israeli citizens should work for the peace. The middle east is a kind of bomb already. Making Turkey the latest enemy of Israel will not help Israel. Turkey is not like the others that Israel messes with. If Turkey and Israel start fighting, it is obvious that both countries will lose a lot. Israel may think that they can defeat Turkey with its high tech. This is really good chance of Israel. However, the Turkish Army itself is about 1.5 million and the number of Turkish citizens who may want to fight in a war may hit this 1.5 million to 20 million. Considering that the total population of Israel is 8 million and its non-friendly neighbors, the short and the long term effects of the war will be debatable. My personal opinion is that Israel Army may be successful in the early stages of the war, however in a long term Turkish Army and/or Turkey and/or the angry neighbors may invade the entire Israeli Land. All in all, a new war will not make any good to human kind. I hope Israeli Government does understand its mistakes.

The anti-Palestinian and possibly anti-American, Israeli settlers of the W.B.; have no conscious, like average folks. They think that stealing land, and murdering Palestinians and others isn't a big deal.
But, I think it is.......because character counts. Like the folks that forced the Apartheid South Africa to stop the assault of the indigenous people of that country. We will do the same thing with Israel...............It's time for the world to unite in BOYCOTTING, DIVESTING, SANCTIONING the APARTHEID STATE of ISRAEL...

Blake, Israel government guilt has been verified by UN many times now, attacking a Turkish ship and Gaza war crimes and military occupation of Palestine to name a few, going tangent on facts do not make them go away, UN was created to be the final referee on international disputes!

@ Joe - "apologizing " is an admission of wrongdoing and liability under the law, any law. One must not do so where one is in the right and being accused, and to do otherwise is to admit to the accusation of wrongdoing. Self-defense is never a wrongdoing, it is a virtue and an obligation and supported by the law in every respect.
For example, in California and elsewhere, if someone lifts a fist to you; that's can be an assault justifying defensive actions. Depending upon the evidence, it can excuse even the death of the 'perpetrator'.
In Califonria, we passed a law exempting a statements of appology following a car accident to make them NOT an admission of liability and impliedly admitting being the cause of the accident.

There are no shortages of idiotic acts from Israeli government, apologizing do not equate with being weak, after all Israel did executed unarmed Turkey and US citizens in international waters according to UN, they have lost their best ally in Middle-East for not having guts to admit to a mistake!

No surprise here.The addition of Israel as a strategic security threat is a must for Turkey in its bid to compete in the crowded field of the champions of the Palestinian cause and win the hearts and minds of the Arab street.

Turkey's biggest security thread is PKK and it is supported by USA and Israel which are I think same thing.USA seems to help Turkey with their air force in northern Iraq,but meanwhile guns own to USA army are found in the caves of PKK.Israeli spies are touring in Northern Iraq near of PKK why? Some Americans support Israel saying that it is their national right to kill people.Didnt you watch any video about this event?They shoot a person throwing stone from two meters in his head.OK it is very normal thing to Israeli soldiers, what about you?

If true that the Turkish government no longer considers Iran a security threat - NATO should show them the exit door - pronto. Perhaps that might motivate the Turkish army to overthrow this two-bit Islamist regime.

"Israel has become a terror state"? I would like to get some of what you've been smoking so I can join in never-never land. Crazy Knife totting muslims praying to allah on their way to gaza obviously looking fo a fight and Israel gets blamed. Turkey should be ashamed of itself for allowing islam to hijack a once rationale society. Turkey has joined the rest of the muslim world in blaming everyone else for their problems . Israel leaves gaza and what happens, the muslims do not try to form a civil society but act like animals. They don't care about forming palestinian state. There never was a formal palestinian. Just a region called palestine where arabs and jews lived. All the muslims care about is destroying Israel so they won't feel so inferior. Arabs lost to Israel, get over it and move on. You don't see germany still obsessing over losing prussia to the russians.
Everywhere where there is confict in the world today you will find muslims on one side (sometimes both sides). I pray that there are muslims out there with the courage to stand up to to bring their society back from the stone age.

Thank God, that there's still peace loving people, that realize that Israel is the aggressor in its defiance of international law, by occupying and building settlements on the Palestinians' land.
I think that all the world can force Israel to abandon this ambition. And bring, peace to the Middle East.

Israel has become a terror state, attacking peace activists in international waters, supporting PKK and training terrorists in north of Iraq and committing human rights abuses. Turkey is right in confronting such a state. It takes alot of spine to confront a bully. Not every one is capable of doing it. It is easy to bully a weak, undefended nation or shoot down a civilian passenger aircraft on an international route full of children using the most modern warship, but standing up to a bully is what separates good guys from the bad guys, specially if the bully is more powerful.

Israel killed peace activist which included including holocaust survivors execution style. Turkey and many other nations were attack in international waters. Israel has gone to war over much, much less than this - remember Lebanon 2006.

Why doesn't the peace loving Israelis vote out of office Israeli officials who are destroying Israeli's reputation?

9 armed terrorists who were looking to kill Israeli solders. Turkey is going to ride this into the ground to make israel there enemy, and join forces with Iran. Turkey is making there choice to stand with Iran so let her live with the results.


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