Turkey’s National Security Council (MGK) approved changes in its National Security document, also referred to as ‘The Red Book’, removing Armenia from a list of countries that pose a ‘major threat’ to Turkey.
Iran (which Ankara previously considered to be the main country that posed threat to Turkey), Syria, Georgia, and Bulgaria were also removed from the list. This is the first time that Turkey considered Israel to be a threatening country. According to the document, Israel’s actions in the region may result in an arms race.
“This is linked with Turkey’s changing policy; currently the policy of this country is being changed – how can one become good friends with Russia and Iran, but overlook Armenia? It is impossible,” says Stepan Grigoryan, the Political analyst, Chairman of the Board of the Analytical Centre on Globalization and Regional Cooperation. “This does not mean that Turks started loving Armenians”.
Military psychologist, Davit Jamalyan, member of the Public Council at Ministry of Defense of Armenia, believes that Turkey has taken such a step under pressure from the West.
“May be it is done for diplomatic reasons, but I do not believe it very much. But if we really are not threatening for Turkey, then what is the Turkish third army base doing on the Ararat slope, at the Armenian-Turkish border?” Jamalyan says. “We must see practical steps, taken for the real position change. If there is a change in the military doctrine, let them change the troops’ deployment, too.”
Specialist in Turkish studies Ruben Melkonyan says that Turkey simply wants to show that it has warm relations with its neighbors, as well as to thrust a wedge between Armenia and Diaspora.
“I suppose that a statement will follow this step, saying that the threat for Turkey comes not from Armenia but rather from Diaspora, related to the international recognition of the Armenian Genocide,” Melkonyan says.
Turkey’s National Security Council reviews ‘The Red Book’ once in five years. It is also called ‘Secret Constitution’.