The pro-Hamas Islamist government led by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is poised to designate Israel as the foremost national security threat to Turkey in a highly classified strategy document that serves as an overarching framework, exerting influence across all Turkish state institutions.
The document, officially titled the National Security Political Document (Milli Güvenlik Siyaset Belgesi, MGSB), is colloquially referred to as Turkey’s secret constitution or the Red Book. It holds a distinctive status, possessing greater influence and priority than other legal documents that outline the protocols for the actions of Turkish government institutions.
The document is officially described as a “roadmap that encompasses the fundamental principles guiding the policy to safeguard the existence of the Republic of Turkey and the Turkish nation.”
The signal to designate Israel as a top security threat for Turkey was initially conveyed by President Erdogan during a speech delivered in a conference hall at his palace in Ankara on November 10. The event was attended by high-ranking government officials.
“A catastrophe, a crime against humanity, is unfolding in front of the entire world. The ones [Israelis] seizing the lands the Palestinian people have lived in for thousands of years have created a state [in Israel] with a controversial history of only 75 years. Not content with this, they are also threatening to use nuclear weapons, including our country in their promised land, challenging our patience with their technological superiority and oppression,” he said. The Turkish president warned that that Israel would soon face consequences and wake up from its immature dreams.
For the first time Erdogan made reference to a Zionist conspiracy, suggesting the establishment of a promised land where a greater Israel might eventually annex parts of Turkish territory. This marks a significant shift in Turkish government policy toward Israel. The indication is that Israel will be included in Turkey’s Red Book as a priority threat requiring attention and action.
Erdogan reiterated the same claim in a broader context on November 11, delivering a speech in Riyadh during the extraordinary joint Islamic-Arab summit convened to discuss the Israeli-Hamas conflict. “The expression of unfounded notions about promised lands that pose a threat to the territorial integrity of many countries in the region, including Turkey, is the most explicit evidence of this [aggression],” he stated.
This confirms that Erdogan’s initial remarks a day earlier were not off-the-cuff or one of those spontaneous instances where Erdogan departs from a scripted text and reacts impulsively. Instead, it reveals a premeditated and calculated strategy to advance the claim, both for the national agenda in Turkey and on international platforms.
In fact, Erdogan expanded on this further in subsequent speeches, bringing the same claim to parliament’s agenda during a speech to lawmakers from his ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) on November 15. “As you can see, circles with malicious intentions regarding our homeland, no matter how carefully they act, somehow expose themselves,” Erdogan remarked, adding, “For years, Armenia chased unrealistic dreams about our country’s territories. They learned their lesson with the Karabakh War and gave up.”
He continued by stating, “Now Israeli leaders have also started expressing similar delusions. Don’t worry. Like countless dreamers [about our land] over the past thousand years, theirs will also end in failure.”
Erdogan’s persistent emphasis on alleged Israeli ambitions to invade and occupy parts of Turkish territory makes it clear that under his leadership, the Turkish state has identified Israel as its primary adversary. Executing this radical shift in Turkey’s foreign and security policy necessitates the stamp of approval of the National Security Council (MGK), with the anticipated changes in the Red Book a top priority for the Erdogan government.
A preview of the revisions to the Red Book can be discerned from the press release that will be issued by Erdogan’s office after the conclusion of the next MGK meeting, expected to take place in the last week of November or early December.
Erdogan branded the Hamas-Israeli conflict as a war between the Cross and the Crescent, a reference to past wars between Christian Crusaders and Muslim armies:
The revisions to the Red Book, typically made every four or five years, are coordinated by the MGK Secretariat, which is subordinated to President Erdogan. While decisions of the MGK are made by majority rule, it is the office of the president that ultimately determines the agenda to be discussed at MGK meetings.
Erdogan not only chairs the meetings but also dominates the composition of the membership. His deputy, along with the ministers of justice, defense, interior and foreign affairs, make up the 10-member MGK, in addition to the chief of general staff and force commanders. In the event of a tie, the decision goes to the side for which the president cast his vote.
The last significant revisions to the Red Book were undertaken in 2019, and it appears that the Erdogan government is now considering a new version of the book.
The MGK designating an issue a priority threat also sets the stage for the launch of a significant public influence campaign. The matter will receive extensive coverage in the Turkish media, largely under government control, and nongovernmental organizations deemed “friendly” will be encouraged to promote the message.
Erdogan’s public mention of Israel’s alleged ambition to carve out a piece of territory from Turkey in the future has already been magnified on Turkish TV networks. Government-vetted analysts discuss and entertain this conspiracy day in and day out.
Long-time Erdogan confidant Metin Külünk and his associates filed a criminal complaint on November 14 with the Istanbul Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office seeking the prosecution of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for war crimes. The complaint, intended to be referred to the International Criminal Court through the Turkish foreign and justice ministries, reiterated the same “promised land” conspiracy.
In the past, the Turkish government has used the Red Book as a justification for illegal and unconstitutional actions, with government agencies profiling unsuspecting citizens based on their ideology, political beliefs or ethnic and religious affiliations. Nordic Monitor has previously reported how the MGK secretly devised plans to manufacture a threat supposedly posed by Christian missionaries to instill fear as part of a social engineering effort in Turkish society.
War crimes complaint filed by Erdogan’s long-time confidant Metin Külünk and his associates on Nov. 14, 2023:Complaint_war_crimes_Metin_Kulunk_Israel
According to top-secret documents, the legal activities of Christian faith groups in Turkey, including Catholics, Orthodox and Protestants, were portrayed as national security threats to the sustainability and viability of the Turkish state. The documents revealed that Turkey perceived the European Union as a Christian project and outlined nationwide measures to suppress Christian activities in Turkey.
In the document, internal and external threats are listed in order of importance. Then, physical and psychological tools and methods to combat these threats are discussed and plans are drawn up. The National and Military Strategic Concept is prepared based on the Red Book. The various branches of government are organized according to this concept, and it is overseen by the MGK Secretariat.
In this artificially created climate of fear surrounding missionaries, several Christian clerics were tragically killed in Turkey. The investigation into the masterminds behind this string of murders was derailed by the government, hindering efforts to hold those responsible accountable.
Erdogan predicted that Israel’s demise is soon:
A comparable approach may be adopted for Israel and its interests in Turkey, with Jews and their organizations likely to come under close scrutiny, mirroring past practices with other targeted groups.
While the content of the Red Book has never been made public and remains highly classified, its policies can be inferred from the tragic effects and negative results observed in practice.
Erdogan’s recent characterization of Hamas fighters as liberators and mujahedeen, along with his refusal to label the group as a terrorist organization, is believed to be part of the fundamental changes in Turkey’s main strategy document. This suggests that the “the enemy of my enemy is my friend” principle is being considered in shaping the Red Book.
Not only is Erdogan ideologically committed to aligning with the Muslim Brotherhood network, which he has long favored as his brethren and supported globally, but his nationalist (ülkücü group) and neo-nationalist (ulusalcı) partners, who also back his government, share a similar vision. They propagate the same conspiracy within their respective circles.
The MGK’s classification of Israel as a threat is most certainly to influence the stance of opposition parties, most of which have demonstrated caution in not overstepping boundaries set by the Turkish state. It is noteworthy that the same Jewish conspiracy has been entertained by numerous talking heads from the opposition bloc when they appear as guests on TV debate programs.
Although there is no reference to the Red Book in either the Turkish Penal Code (TCK) or the Code on Criminal Procedure (CMK), over the last decade Turkish courts have increasingly cited the book in their rulings to convict government critics. This suggests an escalation of MGK powers in the public sphere in Turkey, with MGK announcements not only being treated as guidelines for government agencies but also de facto laws that the judiciary is expected to abide by.