Every month, the top executives of the Turkish government and military come together for the regular National Security Council (NSC) meetings. This time, on Oct. 30, the NSC meeting broke a record in terms its length: 10 hours, 25 minutes. It also attracted much more media attention than other NSC meetings of late because, reportedly, an update in Turkey’s infamous “Red Book,” or the National Security Policy Document, was discussed. Consequently, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s new nemesis, the “parallel state,” will now find its place in this document as yet another “internal enemy” in the history of the enemy-rich Turkish Republic.
Turkey’s NSC was established by the 1961 constitution and was augmented by the 1982 constitution. Since both charters were drafted under the auspices of the Turkish military in the aftermath of military coups, the NSC was envisioned as an institution that would impose the red lines of Turkish generals on elected politicians. In the late '90s, the NSC even served as the headquarters of a “soft coup,” when the generals forced the Islamist government of Necmettin Erbakan — Erdogan’s forerunner — to resign.