By Walid Shoebat
Can Turkey under Erdoğan any longer be deemed a reliable western ally, especially after the raids against opposition journalists, ex-police chiefs and investigators highlight how far the president has distanced Turkey from the west. The other question is, where is Turkey heading; is it going to join the European Union to becoming part of an Antichrist Europe especially after Great Britain’s David Cameron pledged to have Turkey join? Others ask if Turkey will join Russia to be part of Gog and Magog especially since Erdogan and Putin have been warming up to each other? Or will it be the nation of Antichrist as Shoebat.com maintains? Turkey is definitely a biblical player (See Ezekiel 30 “Lydia”, Ezekiel 38, “Meshech and Tubal”, Revelation 2 “Pergamum”)
But such aspirations for Turkey to join the E.U are in question especially when Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s politics of paranoia has taken another ugly twist with the arrest of more than 30 opposition journalists, media workers, former police chiefs and investigators on palpably flimsy conspiracy charges. The Turkish president’s latest coup – nobody in Istanbul doubts he personally ordered the nationwide raids – highlights a bigger, awkward question for the EU and the US: can Turkey under Erdoğan any longer be deemed a reliable, democratic western ally?
The weekend raids targeted Zaman newspaper, whose editor-in-chief, Ekrem Dumanli, was among those detained, and other media outlets allegedly engaged in “forgery and slander”. Fierce condemnation quickly followed. Opposition leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu called them “a coup against democracy”. The US said judicial independence and due process were at risk. Erdoğan must take care “not [to] violate these core values and Turkey’s own democratic foundations,” it said.
A critical statement from Brussels underscored long-held concerns that Erdoğan and his neo-Islamist Justice and Development party (AKP) are no longer serious about joining the EU. “This operation goes against European values and standards Turkey aspires to be part of,” it said.
Erdoğan’s acerbic response on Monday suggested the EU’s concerns were justified. His enemies had launched “dirty operations” against him, so deserved what they got. “They cry press freedom, but (the raids) have nothing to do with it. We have no concern about what the EU might say, whether the EU accepts us as members or not, we have no such concern. Please keep your wisdom to yourself,” he said.
Crowds supporting the Zaman journalists held banners outside the newspaper’s offices saying “The free press cannot be silenced”. But that is not wholly true. Erdoğan, elected president this year after three consecutive terms as prime minister dating back to 2003, exercises de facto control over most of Turkey’s mainstream media, as well as parliament, the courts and the security services.
Shoebat.com has used Zaman as a source to keeping up with the situation in Turkey.
Police arriving at 7.30 a.m. were greeted by scores of protesters shouting “a free media cannot be silenced.”
Indeed many observers see the crackdown as a growing example of Erdogan’s increasing authoritarian rule.
“These arrests appear to be government retribution against journalists reporting on corruption and criticizing the government. The crackdown on speech in Turkey must end, said Daniel Calingaert, executive vice president of Freedom House, the Washington-based democracy watchdog that this year downgraded the Turkish press from being “partly free” to “not free.”
“The situation changes when people … try to take control of the bureaucracy and thus declare war against the country’s elected government,” said Ahmet Davutoglu, Erdogan’s successor as Prime Minister.
A statement by the U.S. State Department last week cautioned Turkey, a key NATO ally, not to violate its “own democratic foundations” while drawing attention to raids against media outlets “openly critical of the current Turkish government.”
On the international level, Turkey seems to be poised to drift away from western values and is literally looking away from its interest in Europe and is moving closer towards Eurasia.
The issue of Turkey prophetically has been whether is joins the E.U to become part of a European ‘beast’ since such a view would perhaps be strengthened as Atatürk indicated that the only grand design or vocation for Turkey should be the process of Europeanization or joins Russia to be part of a Gog and Magog conspiracy against Israel. The later seems to be strengthened since relations between Moscow and Ankara have been making headlines due to a new gas deal which will replace the ill-fated South Stream project.
Nevertheless, and things are moving along as we predicted, from a Turkish perspective, warmer relations with Russia are part of a greater pivot to Eurasia and has nothing to do with a Turkish-Russian love affair.
A substantial part of the Turkish political elite, including former Presidents Turgut Özal (1989-1993) and Süleyman Demirel (1993-2000), were convinced that in the post-Cold War era Turkey needed to return to its historical home, i.e. to fortify its position in the Middle East, improve its historical links with the newly-independent Turkic states, and ease tensions with its Russian neighbor. A deeply religious Ottoman notion of the Kizil Elma (Red Apple), which implies Muslim Turkey’s world domination as inevitable, was revived as Turkey’s geopolitical vision not only by Erdogan but in the post-Cold War era by Turkish nationalist elites and the Erdogan government simply shifted it into high gear.
The Davutoğlu strategic depth doctrine, while placing less emphasis on nationalism than the traditional Kemalist ideology, stresses Muslim solidarity and the transnational concept of ummah, the Muslim community. The national spirit can be described as a source of pride for the Turkish Muslims, for its heritage and tradition of craftsmanship and hard work. The Turkish people feel emboldened to lead other Muslim nations on the path to the Western standard of living, representative democracy, and modernity. These broad concepts summarize the spirit of neo-Ottomanism. The politicians, represented by the inner circle of the AKP who embraced this vision, have a long-term global agenda with the goal of making Turkey a major global power by 2023, the centennial year of the Republic.
This new Turkish elite is implementing this program with zeal, dedication, and sophistication. One of the basic determinants of Turkish foreign policy since 1992 was an ambition to become the predominant power in the Greater Middle East, a region envisioned by former American President George W. Bush that comprises a vast geography stretching from Central Asia to the Maghreb (North Africa, Libya, Algeria, Tunisia, Morocco)
It is also Turkey that has the keys to establish a false peace treaty. As such, Turkey seeks a role of the chief moderator and “curator,” or facilitator, of interactions in regions adjacent to Turkey: the Caucasus, the Balkans, and the Middle East. By doing so, the Turkish political leadership articulated a vision for Turkey playing the role that the Ottoman Empire used to perform in the region.
The regions of interest represents the biblical map of all the nations mentioned in prophecy from Ezekiel 28-39.
The Turkish leadership has undertaken efforts to become the arbiter and mediator of many regional conflicts in the Balkans (Kosovo, Bosnia, and Macedonia), the Caucasus (Abkhazia, Chechnya, Nagorno-Karabakh, and South Ossetia), and the Middle East (the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Syrian-Israeli negotiations) through participation in inter-governmental organizations (such as OSCE, BSEO, and CEO) and membership in NATO as well as a UN-sponsored Alliance of Civilizations (UNAOC). The participation in these structures allows Turkey a lot of flexibility and prestige on the world stage.
After flirting with Europe for decades and being constantly spurned, Turkey no longer seeks to be an attachment to a failing EU. Indeed, many Turks expressed the view that being rejected by Brussels has turned out to be a lucky escape.
“Imagine being tied to that now? Paying for Greece and all the other bankrupt places? We were blessed. They wouldn’t accept us because we were too big and too Muslim. Now we don’t feel like supporting their stagnant economies,” as one Black Sea coast politician put it.
While Europe has spent six years flailing around for solutions to its economic malaise and lurching from one crisis to another, it’s been another story entirely in Turkey. Its economy grew by 9.2 percent in 2010, with a projected four percent increase this year. By contrast, the EU managed a meagre two percent in 2010, and an astonishingly paltry 0.1 percent is predicted for 2014. Thus, it’s fairly clear that Turkey benefits from keeping the Brussels behemoth at arm’s length.
Now, thanks to the collapse of Russia-EU relations, Ankara has very cleverly positioned itself as a major energy conduit to Europe, dramatically adding to its collection of bargaining chips. Once upon a time, Turkey would have probably used this advantage to increase its hopes of joining the EU – but now it will be used as leverage in other areas.
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, takes a firm pro-Palestinian line in the Middle East, which has diluted Turkey’s traditionally close relations with Washington and Tel Aviv.
Fed up with the perceived anti-Turk positions in Brussels, Turkey seems further away from EU membership than ever, although Erdogan’s government opened formal negotiations in 2005. With France and Germany both opposed to accession, it’s clear that the process is mere political posturing. There are important domestic reasons why Ankara maintains the pretense of actively seeking to join the EU. The notion plays to secularists and their supporters in the military.
While Ankara continuously applied to Brussels for membership, ‘core Europe’ balked at the notion of millions of Turkish Muslims inside the EU and ignored their application. In 2005, as Brussels finally opened accession talks, the EU media were warning against the “Islamization of Europe.”
Around the same time, support for pro-Islamic politicians was hardening in Turkey, and pro-religious feeling was expanding. Brussels had skirted the Turkish issue for too long, and now the fleeting moment had passed. Ankara was headed in another direction.
The present internal dialogue, in all corners of the country, concerns how far Turkey has drifted away from its traditional allies – the USA, Israel, and the EU – and which relationships it must develop instead. While no consensus exists, the concept currently winning out is the notion of becoming a Eurasian power. Ankara is now looking more to Moscow or Beijing than Washington or Berlin.
The European-leaning Turkish system, bequeathed by Ataturk, has been struggling under the pressure of influences from Islamist regimes around the region, most notably neighboring Iran. This forms a coalition of Magog with Persia.
In eastern Turkey, even in large cities like Samsun and Trabzon, considerably more women now wear Islamic dress than secular costume. Under Ataturk and the governments that followed, it was prohibited to dress in a pious Islamic way in public. Turkey has changed and is no longer the nation that once cozied up to Israel and the US.
President Erdogan’s ruling AKP party publicly clings to a desire to join the EU. However, the government is fully aware that Brussels will never admit them. Hence, the EU path is used as a signal to Islamists that the AKP won’t countenance deviation from the European path plotted by Ataturk.
Erdogan walks a fine line between secularists – who have the support of Turkey’s extremely powerful military – and the religious, who demand something approaching Sharia law. The truth is that Turkey will continue to balance both ideologies and play between Ataturk’s philosophy when it comes to dealing with the West and Sharia as much as possible when it courts the East.
So far we have been correct unless the future proves we are in error; Turkey will not become partners with Russia and neither will it join the European Union as many claimed it will. Gog in the Bible is “of the land of Magog” and is “chief prince” or “Meshech and Tubal” which is in Turkey not Russia as many claim. The error in equating Magog with Russia can be easily discovered once we read the claims: they always stretch history to encompass the desired geographic location. This is found in every anti-Russia prophecy material that espouses to use history.
To show the errors requires a book on its own, but perhaps one example will suffice; the departed prophecy author Grant Jeffrey quotes reputable historian Rawlinson, Jeffrey says, “The areas… that were ruled by the Scythians are located south of Russia and in the southern republics of the Commonwealth of Independent states (the former USSR).” (Grant Jeffrey, Final Warning, p. 123) Although Jeffrey correctly quotes Rawlinson to only have a false conclusion while he ignored that Rawlinson is speaking of “southern” Russia, which today are all Islamic.
While Rawlinson identifies Meshech with Moschi, he outrightly rejects the idea that Moschi is Moscow:
Some have found in the Moshci the founders of Moscow, the ancestors of the present Muscovites. But this identification has no historical or ethnological basis, resting wholly on the similarity of the names. (Rawlinson, The Origin of Nations, p. 179, f)
They then love to reference formidable historians like Josephus, Philo, Hippolytus of Rome, Pliny the Elder, Maimonides, and Hesiod the father of Greek didactic poetry, but these either simply point to the Scythians as Magog or point to southern Russia and Asia Minor (Turkey).
But when we examine some of the greatest biblical reference manuals, like the Macmillan Bible Atlas, Oxford Bible Atlas,The Schaff-Herzog Encyclopedia of Religious Knowledge, The Moody Atlas of Bible Lands, The Zondervan Illustrated Bible Dictionary, the IVP Bible Background Commentary, The New Unger’s Bible Dictionary, The Catholic Encyclopedia and The Matthew Henry Complete Commentary; they all locate Magog, Meshech, Tubal, Gomer and Beth Togarmah in Asia Minor or in the landmass between ancient Armenia and Media (1)—in short, the Republics south of Russia and north of Israel, comprised of Turkey, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, Azerbaijan, Turkestan, Chechnya, etc. but all these are all Muslim nations.
The Bible then sets the record straight when we examine Ezekiel 30 comparing it to Ezekiel 38, we find “Cush,” “Put,” and “Lydia”. Lydia is not Russia but Turkey, which is the same as Magog, Meshech, Tubal, Togormah, and Gomer in Ezekiel 38.
It is the Bible itself that set the record straight. It is Islam that is slaughtering the saints, which is why we are in a detrimental situation, in which we must strive to help deliver our brethren. PLEASE DONATE TO SAVE CHRISTIAN LIVES
Some even try to stretch it by other means so they say that because the passage points to the “farthest north,” as referring to Russia. But the word “farthest” is not to be found in the Bible which states “north quarters” (v.6) and “north parts” (v.15) in which is the north sides. It is possible this refers to Antichrist who rules that region (Isaiah 14:13).
Gog, as the Bible mandates, is of the land of Magog, a very specific place, and he is the ruler, “chief prince” of his domain called “Meshech and Tubal” which are the ancient Moschi/Mushki and Tubalu/Tibareni peoples who dwelled in the area around, primarily south of, the Black and Caspian Seas in Ezekiel’s day. All these are given for locators to pin point the area and are not intended to lead us on a stretch as to where we follow all genealogical migrations. It is actually far simpler than some make it.
The error of the “Magog is Russia” theory arose from the Scofield Study Bible, which identifies Mesheck and Tubal with the modern Russian cities of Moscow and Tobolsk later to be popularized by Tim LaHaye and Hal Lindsey’s Late Great Planet Earth. The only basis for this interpretation is the somewhat similar sound of the two words; thus, Meshech sounds like Moscow, and Tubal sounds like Tobolsk.
However, one cannot simply take a word from an ancient Semitic language (in this case, Hebrew) and find a correlation to a modern name from a drastically different language (in this case an early form of Scandinavian) simply because the two words “sound the same.” While this may be convincing to some for the sole reason of phonetics, it is very irresponsible hermeneutics and is not supported by history.
But perhaps the greatest twist in most of the works we see circulating the sphere of prophecy is that the battle in Ezekiel 38 is not a battle that erupts prior to Armageddon as is commonly claimed but is Armageddon.
Why do they insist that it erupts before Armageddon? The answer is simple; Islam as this unfolding prophecy according to the buffs, is concerned would someday partner with Russia’s evil Gog (Ezekiel 38) and would simply be a prelude or else how will we usher in the real threat, Europe (the Beast) headed by a European Antichrist.
This is the main problem that many prophecy teachers in the West teach that the invading coalition of nations described in Ezekiel 38-39 is not the army of Antichrist, but of another army entirely different, led by some other evil world leader who is destroyed prior to Christ’s coming to defeat Antichrist.
But this is pure gymnastics since they cannot overlook that Ezekiel 38-39, which clearly describes a Muslim coalition of nations does not support their European Antichrist paradigm. For this reason they are forced to find a way to divorce the entire battle of Gog and Magog from the main excitement they sold when the European Union began when Greece joined as the tenth nation. This theory fell apart when over twenty nations joined this union. The only backup they use to create their paradigm is that Daniel 9 alludes to a European coalition since the Romans—and by extention—Europeans are who destroyed the Temple in Jerusalem.
But even such references support my view, a close examination of Daniel 9, where the Bible says that it would be the “people of the prince to come” (v.26) are the people of the Antichrist who would destroy the Jewish Temple. In other words, the ethnic peoples of whom the future Antichrist would be the leader would destroy the Jewish Temple, which was fulfilled in 70 A.D.
But when we examine real history, we find out that the primary group that carried out this destruction was the tenth legion of the Roman army (Legion X Fretensis), which was stationed in Antioch. Antioch was also the area from which the tenth legion drew most of its recruits of theseethnic peoples.
These soldiers were primarily Syrians and Arabs. Today, Antioch is located within the borders of Turkey, on the southeastern corner of Turkey near Syria. As such, this is yet another nail in their coffin and a witness to the notion that the Antichrist would come from the region of modern Turkey and not Europe. Daniel 9 is also supportedby Daniel 11, where Antichrist was prefigured by Antiochus IV Epiphanies, the “King of the North” or the ruler of the Seleucid Division of the Greek Empire which covered a large portion of modern Turkey.
Zechariah 9 clearly lists Yavan/Ionia (Turkey) as the primary player in the Last-Days attack against Israel. Many will have missed this prophecy due to translation: “I will rouse your sons, O Zion, against your sons, O Greece (Yavan, Ionia).”
Ionia is in Turkey.
The key aspect of this passage is that “Jehovah will appear over them”.
It also seems that Turkey will face Russia: “But news from the east and the north shall trouble him; therefore he shall go out with great fury to destroy and annihilate many … yet he shall come to his end, and no one will help him.” (Daniel 11:44-45)
North of Turkey would be most likely Russia. While Turkey and Russia are currently courting each other for major economic cooperation, this will ultimately end and history will repeat itself and it will be the Russo-Turkish Wars all over again. The result is as the Bible declares; “yet he shall come to his end, and no one will help him. (v. 45)” The end of Turkey is likely being at the hands of Russia (north) and other allies (Ezekiel 28:7-8).
(1) Schaff-Herzog Encyclopedia of Religious Knowledge. Dictionary Edition Schaff Philip (1819-1893) Grand Rapids, MI: Baker. Book House, 1953 Volume 5 Page 14. See also Watson’s Biblical & Theological Dictionary, Catholic Bible Dictionary, P.p 324)