It is impossible to remain oblivious to the news over the last week or so as our TV screens are dominated by more turbulence – the world really is groaning and creaking in every sense and it is clear to us that the ‘birth-pangs’ described by Jesus as an indicator of the end times are becoming greater in intensity and frequency. There are many countries that are currently experiencing turmoil and need our prayers, but there are some that will cause anyone interested in Biblical prophecy to sit up and take notice – one of these countries is Turkey.
Turkey is listed as a key player in Ezekiel’s prophetic vision of a group of countries who launch an attack on Israel along with Russia, Iran and others. The nations below named as Mescheck, Tubal, Gomer and Togarmah are all located in what is now modern day Turkey:
Son of man, set thy face against Gog, the land of Magog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal, and prophesy against him, And say, Thus saith the Lord God; Behold, I am against thee, O Gog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal: And I will turn thee back, and put hooks into thy jaws, and I will bring thee forth, and all thine army, horses and horsemen, all of them clothed with all sorts of armour, even a great company with bucklers and shields, all of them handling swords: Persia, Ethiopia, and Libya with them; all of them with shield and helmet: Gomer, and all his bands; the house of Togarmah of the north quarters, and all his bands: and many people with thee. Be thou prepared, and prepare for thyself, thou, and all thy company that are assembled unto thee, and be thou a guard unto them. After many days thou shalt be visited: in the latter years thou shalt come into the land that is brought back from the sword, and is gathered out of many people, against the mountains of Israel, which have been always waste: but it is brought forth out of the nations, and they shall dwell safely all of them. Thou shalt ascend and come like a storm, thou shalt be like a cloud to cover the land, thou, and all thy bands, and many people with thee. Thus saith the Lord God; It shall also come to pass, that at the same time shall things come into thy mind, and thou shalt think an evil thought: And thou shalt say, I will go up to the land of unwalled villages; I will go to them that are at rest, that dwell safely, all of them dwelling without walls, and having neither bars nor gates, To take a spoil, and to take a prey; to turn thine hand upon the desolate places that are now inhabited, and upon the people that are gathered out of the nations, which have gotten cattle and goods, that dwell in the midst of the land. (Ezekiel 38:2-12, emphasis added)
For this reason, the discerning Christian will take note of significant events within Turkey’s leadership and alliances they are forming with other nations. We look into this in some length in our Why Israel? article.
Turkey is literally the gateway between East and West and plays a crucial role in the prevention of Islamic terrorism in European countries. Over the weekend, the government ruthlessly quashed a military coup and will no doubt tighten it grip in controlling the country as a result. Turkey has now declared a ‘state of emergency’ and, in an extraordinary move, President Erdogan has rounded up, sacked or suspended over 50,000 people from their jobs which includes removing nearly 3,000 judges, over 15,000 teachers and 1,600 university deans from their positions. This seems very odd to us as we are not aware or how these professions could have had a prominent role in the coup. It appears that either extreme paranoia has crept into the Turkish leadership or, worse still, this coup is being used as an opportunity to dramatically tighten grip on the country and install an even more authoritarian and tyrannical rule. It’s worth reading these notes from JD Farag taken from his weekly prophecy update where he offers his thoughts on how Bible Prophecy is relevant to the times we live in.
Whatever the reason for Erdogan’s purge, this will almost certainly push Turkey towards stricter implementation of Islamic principles. Erdogan has already expressed a desire to form a new Islamic Union which is to be led by Turkey. Furthermore, there are also indications of stronger alliances being formed between Turkey, Russia and Iran (not to mention others) which continue to align nations for a potential fulfillment of Ezekiel 38/39. There are even some Bible prophecy teachers who believe Erdogan is the Antichrist – there are certainly some parallels and his recent behaviour raises legitimate concerns, but it is a little bold (and early) to be able to say this with any certainty. Despite this, Erdogan is clearly a character capable and intent on doing many things that are significant and relevant to Bible prophecy so definitely worth keeping an eye on.
Isn’t it amazing that prophecies written thousands of years ago appear to being played out before our very eyes – watch carefully as we are undoubtedly living in unprecedented times!
The Lord is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom I will trust; my buckler, and the horn of my salvation, and my high tower. I will call upon the Lord, who is worthy to be praised: so shall I be saved from mine enemies. (Psalm 18:2-3)