As I’ve mentioned here before, I am convinced that the modern state of Turkey is clearly referenced in Ezekiel 38 v2-6 – the names Magog, Meshech, Tubal, Gomer, Beth-Togarmah can be easily traced to their descendants/towns/regions within Turkey.
It breaks my heart that so many places that I read about in the New Testament that eagerly heard the Gospel like Ephesus, Galatia, etc are in a nation that will serve Satan’s forces against Israel. We know it will happen because we have been told in advance.
The point of my post- in the news the last several days we are seeing reports of rising unrest and protests throughout Turkey. One possibility is that these protests will lead to a collapse of the current regime as it did in many nations throughout the so-called “Arab Spring”.
I think there is a second scenario here, that is just as likely. Turkey is not like these many others that had a long-standing dictatorship who assented to Islam but did not pursue overly Islamic policies (with the exception of perhaps Libya). Turkey was once heralded as the model for a “secular” government in a majority muslim nation and is still a member of NATO. It has been seen as a counterpoint in the region to a highly theocratic Islamic Republic of Iran. Recently though, with the rise of Erdogan and his regime we’ve seen a steady islamization of Turkish public life. At some point this is going to clash violently with the many who enjoy a more westernized, secular lifestyle. These secularized, westernized young people are who I believe are at the heart of these current protests – which began over a plan by the government to turn a large greenspace in Istanbul into an Islamic monument of sorts to the Ottoman empire (and apparently some kind of commercial space as well).
Anyway – to scenario two. We’ve seen the media focus like a laser on the brutal responses of governments around the world. In this case, since it’s being done in the name of Islam I think the media is more likely to turn a blind eye to it over time. Erdogan instead of weakening will step up the brutality of his response to these “westernized” Turks. He has already threatened to bring in his own protesters- which would provide great PR cover since he wouldn’t have to take responsibility for their violence as they purge westernized ideas, consumerism and political activism from their nation. I look at the Cultural Revolution in China – and that is what I see as the likely response in Turkey. I wish we had someone who posted here now that lived in Turkey – I’d love to know what the feeling is on the street about what is going on in Turkish culture and if they can feel the grip of Islamist ideals cutting them off from westernized habit. Erdogan is very popular amongst the Islamists in Turkey – and he can motivate them to purify the culture and the nation from outside influences.
How does this move Turkey into place as the the final puzzle piece? So far, as a somewhat secularized nation and a majority Sunni nation there is a natural tension between the Theocratic and majority Shiite Iran. The more Turkey is controlled by the Islamists and they have a free hand to do as they will, the more that gap will narrow – and when there is a common enemy there are many precedents for Sunnis and Shiites putting aside difference to fight a common enemy (namely Israel).
So where we are left is Turkey – who had been reluctant moving into a leadership role in the assault on Israel by Turkey, Iran, Libya, Sudan and Russia – just as God has told us through the prophet Ezekiel. The motivation will be Turkey’s growing enmity with Israel (as show in the Mavi Marmara affair), and the hook of the Leviathan oil and gas field just off Israel’s and Cyprus’ coast.