turkey russiaYou won’t find Turkey mentioned in the Bible but it plays a more important part in Bible Prophecy than perhaps one might expect. Here is a prophecy from the Book of Revelation ch 16 v 12  And the sixth angel poured out his vial upon the great river Euphrates; and the water thereof was dried up, that the way of the kings of the east might be prepared.

The great Ottoman Empire, represented by the River Euphrates, has gradually dried up as prophesied and all that is left of it is Turkey, a mere shadow of its former greatness.   God is in no hurry when it comes to bringing about His purposes and the Bible tells us that He  controls the rulers of the world according to His Will.

 Dan 4 :17 the most High ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever he will, and setteth up over it the basest of men.

 We just need to be patient and we will see all revealed.

Sometimes, though, Prophecy just doesn’t seem to be working out as we expect. Here is another one which concerns Turkey, which until recently seemed to be a long way off fulfilment. Ezekiel 38 describes the invasion of Israel in the Last Days before the Lord Jesus Christ returns. The invasion is led by Gog, which Bible Students identify as Russia and one of the nations in the invasion force is named Togarmah. Ezekiel says,

38:3-6 “Behold, I am against thee, O Gog*, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal . . . I will bring thee forth, and all thine army . . . 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”

Up to this year it was difficult to see Turkey joining Russia to invade Israel. Turkey and Israel had good relations, they even went on joint military exercises.  However, students of God’s Word have only to be patient when the political situation does not match what prophecy predicts— and just recently we have seen the proof of this in an amazing change in relations between Turkey and Israel.

Turkey’s change of allegiance

Daniel 10:13 shows that God’s angels work in the nations to bring about His purpose. An example of this can be seen in the move of Turkey away from the West and towards  Russia, as Ezekiel 38 leads us to expect.

In the past Turkey and Russia could not be considered friends. At the end of World War I, Turkey ex¬pelled the Armenians and, in accordance with the Bible prophecy of the ‘drying up of the Euphrates’, was reduced to its present location in Asia Minor.

For more than twenty-two years Turkey has unsuccessfully sought membership of the EU.  Seemingly the main, though unstated reason is as one Turkish writer states, that ‘Europe is not ready yet to accept a Muslim country in the EU’. In fact, from the religious point of view, Turkey has more in common with countries like Iran, Iraq and Syria in the Middle East.

This failure of Turkey to gain EU entry forced her to look elsewhere for trade. Turkey has been on good terms with Iran since early in 2009 whilst the strong ties between Turkey and Israel have been weakening. The Israel/Palestinian conflict helped to sour relations even further. The final straw was the clash in May 2010 between armed Turkish terror activists and Israeli navy commandos who boarded the Mavi Marmara vessel. It was one of six in a " Peace Flotilla" which ignored Israel’s orders to change course and head for Ashdod port to take its supplies to Gaza through an overland route. The Mavi Marmara was later found to be carrying no humanitarian aid supplies whatsoever.

Turkey has insisted that Israel apologize for the nine deaths caused, and stop the Gaza blockade , which was set up to prevent arms smuggling. Israel has expressed regret for the deaths, but will not apologize nor end the blockade, which it pointed out has saved the lives of its citizens.

Presumably as a result of this, Turkey recently expelled Israel's Ambassador, stopped all military trade and stepped up its Navy activity in the eastern Mediterranean

In yet another sign of the deterioration, Turkey’s military is installing new technology that will allow warplanes and ships to target Israeli vessels. Previously, Turkish planes, ships and submarines used American technology, which automatically classified Israeli equipment as “friendly”. This will no longer occur under the new system which was declared ready just days after Turkey suspended defence trade and termed Israel a “spoiled child.”

 Thus, Turkey’s friendly relations coming to an end will allow them to make friends with the Gogian Confederacy which attacks Israel.

 Turkey and Russia

During the time of the Ottoman Empire, Turkey and Russia were rivals. After its fall, Tur¬key joined NATO to protect it from possible Soviet attack. Now, the situation has changed  and Turkey and Russia are becoming Trading Partners having close relations with Iraq and Iran—This situation seems to have come about naturally yet we can see the Divine Hand and the angels in operation to bring about His purpose.

 Encouragement to look for Jesus’ return

Russia, long considered by Bible Students to be Gog, suffered a great setback with the fall of the Soviet Union; but is now again becoming an aggressive power and flexing her muscles. The Military machine, for so long in poor state is being rebuilt and new weapons are being forged, like the new stealth fighter plane, the T-50, and the proposed Russian strategic bomber which is at the design stage.

 Vladimir Putin's decision to reclaim the Presidency next year makes it possible for him to rule Russia until 2024, continuing his strongman rule. So, again we see that, if we are patient, The Bible will always be proved right and shortly we will see Gog assembling a great army to sweep down on Israel, swollen no doubt by the current feelings of anti-Semitism. Ezekiel tells us it will include Persia (now Iran), Ethiopia, Libya and Turkey. We believe that this will be very soon and then Christ will return to save Israel and rule the world from Jerusalem.

Bible prophecy never fails, we urge you to read the Bible, turn from your own ways to follow Christ that his return will be to you one of immense joy.

*’Gog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal’- to identify Gog we need to identify the people and the areas they lived in when Ezekiel gave this prophecy. The ancient names of Rosh, Meshech, Tubal and also Magog can undoubtedly be linked to areas roughly covered by parts of present-day Russia and its environs.

** The Jewish Historian Josephus places Gomer and the ’Gomerites’ in central Turkey

 *** Togarmah was the grandson of Japheth. His descendants by the time of Ezekiel were in Asia Minor, the area now occupied by Turkey. Togarmah is the name of a city and a region in Asia Minor. Asia Minor comprises the majority of the Republic of Turkey.