Turkey Seeks To Go Nuclear - Another Trigger For Ezekiel 38?

News Image By Britt Gillette/End Times Bible Prophecy September 19, 2019
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During the 17 years he has ruled NATO-member Turkey, the country's Islamist strongman, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, has rarely missed an opportunity stealthily to convert Mustafa Kemal Atatürk's secular, pro-Western establishment into a rogue state hostile to Western interests. 

Erdogan now wants to make it a rogue state with nuclear weapons.

"They say we can't have nuclear-tipped missiles, though some have them. This, I can't accept," Erdogan said in a September 4 speech, rejecting calls to prevent his country from acquiring nuclear weapons while conveniently forgetting that Turkey has signed the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty in 1980. 

In other words, Turkey's elected leader publicly declares that he intends to breach an international treaty signed by his country. Turkey is also a signatory to the 1996 Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty, which bans all nuclear detonations, for any purpose.

This is not, in fact, the first time Erdogan has voiced an eagerness to make Turkey a nuclear-armed state. As early as 2008 -- when he was the poster child of naïve Western statesmen and intellectuals who believed he was a reformist democrat -- Erdogan said: "Countries that oppose Iran's nuclear weapons should not have nuclear weapons themselves." Despite his use of the plural "countries," Erdogan was apparently pointing his finger at the country he hates the most: Israel.

In a 2010 speech, Erdogan described Israel as "the principal threat to peace" in the Middle East. In that speech, he repeated his skepticism about whether Iran intended to use its nuclear-fuel program to build nuclear weapons, and said there was no such uncertainty concerning Israel's undeclared arsenal.

If Turkey overtly or covertly launched a nuclear weapons program -- as Erdogan apparently wishes -- the move could well have a domino effect on the region. Turkey's regional adversaries would be alarmed, and Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Syria and Greece might be tempted to launch their own nuclear weapons programs. 

Would Israel stand for a nuclear Turkey any more so than a nuclear Iran?  Erdogan's threats to Israel have been more subtle than Iran's threats "to wipe Israel off the map" but they are just as dangerous.

Turkey Breaks from the West

In July, Turkey announced its plan to move forward with the purchase of a Russian S-400 air defense system. In response, the U.S. expelled Turkey from the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program, cancelling their previous order of 100 F-35s. Furthermore, Turkey’s announcement opened the door for more penalties under a 2017 act that calls for sanctions on any nation that buys a major defense article from Russia. 

Currently, relations remain strained as the two nations work to find a resolution. But far from an isolated incident, this is just the latest dispute between the United States and Turkey. The relationship between these two countries has been volatile for several years now. But this wasn’t always the case. Up until a few years ago, Turkey was a reliable ally for the U.S., Israel, and NATO.

Turkish History

Following World War I and the breakup of the Ottoman Empire, Mustafa Kemal Ataturk led a Turkish War of Independence. When the war ended, the victors established the Republic of Turkey in 1923. Ataturk served as the new nation’s first president. He oversaw numerous reforms to modernize Turkey. He established a secular western democracy and made the nation a model democratic republic in the Middle East. In 1949, Turkey became the first Muslim majority nation to recognize Israel. 
In 1952, it joined NATO. For the latter part of the 20th Century, Turkey was a strong ally of Israel, the U.S., and other western nations. As the 21st Century dawned, Turkey explored membership in the European Union. This would have further solidified the nation’s western ties. Instead, an event took place that reshaped the future of Turkey.

A New Direction for Turkey

In 2003, Turkey elected Recep Tayyip Erdogan prime minister. A former member of a banned Islamist political party, Erdogan’s administration has been hostile toward Turkey’s secular and democratic institutions. Under Erdogan, Turkey has turned from its traditional western allies and cultivated relationships with nations that oppose western democracy. 

In July 2016, Erdogan cracked down on his political opponents following what he claimed was a coup attempt. He imprisoned thousands of citizens and consolidated his grip on power. A 2017 referendum further extended that power. Now the president, Erdogan is the undisputed ruler of Turkey. The nation, once hailed as a model of freedom and democracy in the Muslim world, has quickly devolved into a totalitarian regime eager to befriend America’s enemies.

Why This Matters

So why should you care? Aside from diminishing freedom and liberty for Turkey’s citizens, these events have enormous prophetic significance. Why? Because Turkey is a key member of the Gog of Magog alliance. 

Six centuries before the crucifixion of Jesus, Ezekiel foretold of a future invasion of Israel (Ezekiel 38-39). He said it will occur in the last days (Ezekiel 38:16). It will come from north of Israel (Ezekiel 38:15; Ezekiel 39:2), and it will involve a coalition of nations led by Russia (Ezekiel 38:2). The nations Ezekiel cited include:

Rosh = Russia
Magog = Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Afghanistan
Persia = Iran
Cush = Sudan
Put = Libya
Meshech, Tubal, Gomer, and Beth-togarmah = Turkey

For years, those who study bible prophecy have wondered how Turkey fits into this alliance. After all, Turkey is a longtime ally of Israel. Also, as a member of NATO, the idea of Turkey joining a Russian invasion of Israel is hard for many to imagine. In 2014, I noted in my book Signs of the Second Coming:

“Turkey is another interesting member of this military alliance. Since the restoration of Israel in 1948, those who understand bible prophecy have struggled to figure out how Turkey fits in. Why? Because in 1949, Turkey became the first Muslim majority country to officially recognize the state of Israel. 

Turkey and Israel have a long history of diplomatic, economic, and military cooperation. Turkey is also a member of NATO. And what is the purpose of NATO? Its purpose is to defend member nations against Russian aggression. So why would Turkey join a Russian alliance to invade another country?

While it hasn’t made sense in recent years, that idea doesn’t seem so far-fetched today. In May 2010, Turkey and Russia signed a series of agreements enhancing their energy ties, including an agreement to build Turkey’s first nuclear power plant. 

And in recent years, Turkey’s domestic politics – historically secular in nature – have been heavily influenced by Islam. And that gives Turkey more than enough motive to join the Gog of Magog Alliance.”

And here we are. Erdogan has consolidated power in Turkey. Ataturk’s Turkish Republic is dead. The relationship between Vladimir Putin and Erdogan is strong and growing. All that’s left to permanently move Turkey into Russia’s sphere of influence is a clear break between Turkey and NATO.

While we wait for that moment, the military forces of the three most powerful members of the Gog of Magog alliance – Russia, Iran, and Turkey – are now cooperating in Syria. Just this week Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan hosted the leaders of Russia and Iran in Ankara for talks to resolving the Syrian civil war.

It is expected any final agreement between these nations will put their joint military forces right on Israel’s border. And not just any border – Israel’s northern border. This is where Ezekiel said the invasion force will come from – north of Israel (Ezekiel 38:15; Ezekiel 39:2). 

Is this a mere coincidence? I don’t think so. Never in history have these three nations formed an alliance. Now, they’re stationed directly to Israel’s north.

The stage is now set for the fulfillment of the Ezekiel 38-39 prophecies. Turkey has made a strategic choice to align itself with Russia and Iran. Eventually, Russia, Iran, Turkey, and the other nations in the Gog of Magog alliance will send an overwhelming invasion force against Israel (Ezekiel 38:8-9). 

When they do, God will destroy them and display His power and glory for all the nations to see (Ezekiel 38:23). It’s one more sign of how close we are to the Second Coming of Jesus.

Britt Gillette is author of the free ebook Coming to Jesus as well as the books Signs of the Second Coming and Racing Toward Armageddon

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