Lion's Den: Crisis in Turkey
Rapture Forum Staff: Chris
One of the most important countries mentioned in end times Bible prophecy is Turkey. Turkey is important because they are mentioned in the prophecies of Ezekiel 38-39 as being part of the end times Russian (Magog) led moslem coalition that tries to invade Israel so that she will once and for all be completely destroyed. Another leader of this Ezekiel 38-39 coalition is none other than Iran (Persia). Despite a move by the moslems against Israel, the Bible tells us that they will not succeed. However, the problem with Turkey is that they had previously seemed to be holding up the possibility that the Ezekiel 38-39 prophecy could be fulfilled in the near term future. The reason for this is that for a long time Turkey was a westward looking country who wanted desperately to fit in with the West. But with a population of around 70 million Islamists and after the terrorist attacks of 9/11, etc. it became apparent that the European Union was hesitant to allow them into the fold. So after many failed attempts to join the European Union as a full member, Turkey has recently began to make a noticeable shift towards the East and towards her Islamic brothers and sisters as it concerns her future. This can be seen by the many recent outbursts and harsh rhetoric aimed towards Israel lately for their dealings with the Palestinians and other Islamic states in the region.
One of the most recent and disturbing developments in Turkey has been the arrest and indictment of a large number of military commanders and personnel. This development is important and significant in that ever since the modern founding of Turkey in 1923 by Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, the military has been the one most fundamentally strong institutions that has allowed the country to remain secular and not to fall into the hands of the fantatical Islamic political parties who desire to take Turkey from being a secular country and turn it into one that would become a sharia law abiding Islamic Republic of Turkey.
A recent news article in the Jerusalem Post provides an interesting take on the current situation in Turkey. The article goes on to report:
The arrest and indictment of top military figures in Turkey last week precipitated potentially the most severe crisis since Mustafa Kemal Atatürk founded the republic in 1923. The weeks ahead will probably indicate whether the country continues its slide toward Islamism or reverts to its traditional secularism. The denouement has major implications for Muslims everywhere.
Turkey’s military has long been both the state’s most trusted institution and the guarantor of Atatürk’s legacy, especially his laicism. Devotion to the founder is not some dry abstraction but a very real and central part of a Turkish officer’s life; as journalist Mehmet Ali Birand has documented, cadet-officers hardly go an hour without hearing Atatürk’s name invoked.
The article further goes on to describe how the predominant political party in Turkey, the AKP, has been taking over various political spots in the country as well as in various important institutions within the country. The article noted that it was on four separate occasions since the modern founding of the country that the military has intervened to protect a political process that had gone bad. The article states:
ON FOUR occasions between 1960 and 1997, the military intervened to repair a political process gone awry. On the last of these occasions, it forced the Islamist government of Necmettin Erbakan out. Chastened by this experience, some of Erbakan’s staff reorganized themselves as the more cautious Justice and Development Party (AKP). In Turkey’s decisive election of 2002, they surged ahead of discredited and fragmented centrist parties with a plurality of 34 percent of the popular vote.
Parliamentary rules then transformed that plurality into a 66% supermajority of assembly seats and a rare case of single-party rule. Not only did the AKP skillfully take advantage of its opportunity to lay the foundations of an Islamic order, but no other party or leader emerged to challenge it. As a result, the AKP increased its portion of the vote in the 2007 elections to a resounding 47%, with control over 62% of parliamentary seats.
With political progress being made over the military by the AKP party, Turkey has sunk into a dangerous political mixture of quicksand that they may not be able to crawl out of and therefore fall vicitim to the hardline Islamic regime of the AKP. In looking at Bible prophecy, one can see that the military has over the years since the founding of the country protected the secular nature of the country that has made it a beacon of hope in the middle of a dangerous region. However, with the continued emergence and pressure from the AKP, we may finally be seeing the collapse of the military as being the predominant institution in the country and finally see them be replaced by the AKP which will likely push Turkey into following the same guiding principles as those of Iran, etc. We know that Turkey turning into a sharia following Islamic republic would not be in the best interest of the world. And that is exactly where these developments get interesting for Bible prophecy. It is my opinion that the conversion of Turkey from a military led secular country to one that is a sharia law following Islamic republic is just the kind of transformation that would need to occur to help push and increase the likelihood of a Gog/Magog conflict happening in the near term future.
With tensions mounting in the region between Israel and the proxy terrorist organizations, it doesn't take a lot of imagination to see how a downward spiraled conflict and overwhelming victory by Israel could set the stage for the Gog/Magog invasion. It is noteworthy that Turkey has many defense pacts with their eastward brothers and sisters that would call for them to come to their aid should they be attacked. I think we are seeing a major move in Turkey that will have terrible consequences for Turkey down the road. While the fanatical Islamist groups boast and gloat over the "coming destruction of Israel", the fact is that nothing could be further from the truth. The Bible says in Ezekiel 38-39 that 5/6ths of the invading forces in the Gog/Magog conflict will be destroyed when God supernaturally intervenes and that the great multitude of dead will take 7 months to bury. This does not sound good for enemies of Israel.
I would like to encourage everyone to keep any eye out for any developments as it relates to Turkey and the Middle East. Turkey has a role to play here in the last days, and their recent internal troubles may actually be what helps to move the puzzle pieces of prophecy around the board and set things up for a literal fulfillment of Ezekiel 38-39.
And as always, keep looking up, your redemption is drawing nigh.