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New Turkey - New Friends
Commentary on the News
Friday, August 26, 2016
Alf Cengia

It appears that there's a New Turkey, and it has found New Friends to play with. 

Some time ago I received negative feedback on my musings about Vladimir Putin's motives. I was informed that Putin was a "flash in the pan." He was a wannabe Czar whose star would eventually fizzle out like a snuffed birthday candle.

Often our opinions are shaped by the material we regularly read. Most news media contain degrees of partiality - some more than others. Further complicating matters are our own personal biases. Many would rather not believe that troubling events are occurring around the world. It interferes with their lifestyles.

A lot of water has flowed under the bridge since then. Putin's subsequent actions confirmed his Real Deal status. He has always harbored a calculated game plan for expanding Russian interests. Putin telegraphed what he wanted to do and then set about achieving those targets.

I remember the lead up to the 2008 United States presidential elections. At the time I was still living in Australia and reading about the presidential candidates from several sources. One candidate stood out - Senator Barack Obama. He seemed to come from nowhere.

There were different lines of thought about Senator Obama. Some were leery of him based on his history, what he said, and the people he associated with. Others loved him for those very same reasons.

Still others (some conservatives included) dismissed negative feedback as possibly racially motivated. Many were excited about potentially making history by voting for the first mixed race President of the United States.

Like Putin, Mr. Obama telegraphed his intentions. Sure he spouted the obligatory pre-election throw away promises. But mixed in with the political fluff, he achieved what he said he'd do - kowtow to Islam and oversee a smaller American global footprint (especially in the Middle East). Among his accomplishments has been the advancement of nuclear Iran and assisting the Muslim Brotherhood. You might even say that Obama was the perfect man for Putin's career!

Then there's the new Turkey and its new friends - Russia and Iran. For a long time we wondered what Erdogan was going to do. Would he jump into bed with the European bunch? Would he cultivate a cozy relationship with Israel, as some reports suggested? Even when he was spitting out vitriol against Zionist Israel?

The thing about Erdogan is that he's a funny guy - but not in a good way. Think of Joe Pesci's unstable character in the movie Goodfellas. He's the sort of individual who can compliment and threaten, all in the same sentence.

The attempted rebel coup served to strengthen Erdogan's Islamist position in Turkey. It allowed him to enact "temporary" emergency measures which have cemented his position. The West had been hopeful that "moderate" Turkey would align itself to it. But Erdogan now appears to have chosen Putin:

Turkey's newfound love affair with Russia will inevitably have repercussions in Syria, and that pleases Iran. "Not only will Turkey have to 'digest' that [Russian-Iranian-Syrian] line, it will have to join it, entering into a pact with Putin and the ayatollahs.

Will the relationship last? Ken Timmerman's article sums the current status up well:

A [tectonic] shift has occurred in the balance of power in the Middle East since the failed Turkish coup of mid-July, and virtually no one in Washington is paying attention to it. Turkey and Iran are simultaneously moving toward Russia, while Russia is expanding its global military and strategic reach, all to the detriment of the United States and our allies. This will have a major impact across the region, potentially leaving U.S. ally Israel isolated to face a massive hostile alliance armed with nuclear weapons. (Emphasis mine)

Tectonic is an appropriate word. The military ramifications of this new alliance are large scale. Saudi Arabia has already broadcasted its intention to counter a future nuclear Iran. Will this escalate into a new arms race?

The following comments by Timmerman were also interesting:

Believers in Bible prophecy see this new alignment as a step closer to the alliance mentioned in Ezekiel 37-38, which Israel ultimately defeated on the plains of Megiddo...Today’s Israel, however, is doing its best to soften the blow by patching up relations with Turkey and through cooperation with Russia. (Emphasis mine)

One of the main points raised by prophecy enthusiasts - when discussing the Gog-Magog conflagration - is Israel's trust in its peaceful conditions (Ezek 38:11). These conditions suddenly change requiring God's intervention to prevent Israel from being destroyed. For more information on this topic I recommend Ron Rhodes' book Northern Storm Rising.

Note that some prophecy scholars subscribe to a Psalm 83 scenario occurring prior to Gog-Magog. Bill Salus and Thomas Ice debate the issue HERE.

In general, I've avoided commenting about prophetic details. Not only am I not an expert but it's fraught with all sorts of possible pitfalls. Even so, the big picture seems to be forming - at least to my mind. It has taken a long series of unusual circumstances to get where we are now: Putin, Obama, ISIS, Erdogan, the Syrian and Iraqi collapse, the Turkish coup attempt etc. But here we are.

One wonders what's next, lurking around the corner. What about China and North Korea? Is Pyongyang just indulging in the usual saber rattling, like Putin allegedly was? Is the U.S. Administration concerned? It should be.

We live in a world filled with tenuous conditions fertile for another Word War. Conflict can escalate quickly. The epicenter of the world's current tribulations is the Middle East. And Israel just happens to be in the center of it all. Hatred of Israel and anti-Semitism is rising. This appears analogous to scenarios portrayed in the Bible (Zech 13-14 etc).

Could these events be precursors to the End of this Age? We need to be paying close attention.

Those of us who have placed our trust in the Lord must renew our relationship with Him on a daily basis. Our hearts should be cast upon on heaven, even while serving God and witnessing here. That last thought always stings my conscience.

Our lives are like vapors. If you haven't placed your faith in Jesus Christ yet, now is the time to do it. Your eternity depends on your choice in the here and now (John 3:16-18; I Cor 15:3-4).

Time may well be running out.

About Alf Cengia

Last week: A Flat Planet Earth

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