By Tom Olago
Turkey's half-century old EU membership bid is currently tottering on the brink of collapse, after the European Union's legislature asked the bloc to freeze membership negotiations with Turkey over the government's heavy-handed crackdown following a failed coup in July.
In response, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has threatened to open Turkey's borders to allow migrants to reach the EU, a move that would tear up the landmark deal that has reduced the flow significantly.
Last year the continent experienced its worst refugee crisis since World War II, with more than a million people fleeing war and poverty to land on Europe's shores mostly via Turkey.
In a bid to stem the flow, Brussels and Ankara agreed to a $6.4 billion deal in which Turkey would take back migrants in exchange for money, visa-free travel and the opening of new chapters.
According to Weston Williams in a report compiled for the scmonitor.com, Turkish president Erdoan indicated in a recent interview that he was fed up with waiting for the European Union to accept Turkey as a member state, indicating that he would be willing to consider joining the Russia-led Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) as an alternative to the Western bloc.
After more than a decade of negotiations, the president said that there was no reason to sentence Turkey to even more years of diplomatic wrangling just to become part of an international organization that has been consistently slow in welcoming Ankara into its ranks.
After the EU officially formed, Turkey applied for full membership of that organization in 2005, and has remained in negotiations ever since.
"Turkey must feel at ease," said Erdoan in the interview with Turkish newspaper Hurriyet. "It mustn't say 'for me it's the European Union at all costs.' That's my view....Some may criticize me but I express my opinion," said Erdoan. "For example, I have said 'why shouldn't Turkey be in the Shanghai Five?'"
The Shanghai Five is the old name for the SCO, which consisted of 5 members until Uzbekistan joined the political/economic/military pact. The five-country treaty was signed in 1996, largely thanks to Russia and China.
Could such a move actually materialize, perhaps triggered by a final fallout between the EU and Turkey over a spate of irreconcilable differences? If so, what would its significance be, if any, in the larger scheme of things?
Ricky Scaparo took a look at the Bible prophecy angle shortly after the attempted coup in July with an examination of what Turkey's role is and why it matters.
2,600 years ago, the prophet Ezekiel foretold of a time when a coalition of predominately Muslim Nations would gather together to invade the nation of Israel. This well-known conflict is known as "The War of Gog and Magog."
According to the book of Ezekiel, chapters 38 and 39, this confederacy of nations will attack Israel during a relatively peaceful period that appears to be generated by a recent conflict resulting in a "state of peace" for the Jewish nation.
According to the prophet, "After many days you shall be called. In the latter years, you shall come into the land that is restored from the sword, whose inhabitants have been gathered out of many peoples, against the mountains of Israel which had been always a waste. But its people were brought out of the nations, and they, all of them, are dwelling safely ... and you shall say, 'I will go up against the land of unwalled villages. I will go against those who are at rest, that dwell safely, all of them dwelling without walls and having neither bars nor gates'" (Ezekiel 38:8, 11, MEV).
The nations cited by Ezekiel are each referenced in the Old Testament, yet they all represent nations which exist today. Long before Russia became a major world power, most Biblical scholars identified Magog as the nation of Russia and Gog as the ruler of Russia. These other nations mentioned in Ezekiel 38 are:
" Magog (also said by other experts to include Meshech, and Tubal) = Russia
" Persia = Iran
" Cush = Ethiopia
" Put = Libya
" Gomer = Turkey (Some have identified as eastern Europe)
" Beth-Togarmah = Turkey (also said by other experts to include Armenia, and the Turkish-speaking people of Asia Minor).
The Bible indicates that in the "latter days" the Lord will put a "hook in the jaw" of these nations listed, including the nation of Turkey and, according to the prophet, "you shall ascend and come like a storm; you shall be like a cloud to cover the land, you and all your troops, and many peoples with you." (Ezekiel 38:9)
So Turkey will be significant in the near future in the context of Biblical prophecy. She will unite with several other nations and attempt to destroy the nation of Israel but will ultimately fail. So just what will befall these nations in that war?
Israel will not need to rely on America, Britain or any of her allies to defend her because God Himself will step into the scene spectacularly and overcome Israel's enemies through a mixture of several strategies: civil wars, pestilences, overflowing rain and hailstones, fire and brimstone (Ezekiel 38: 18-23).
There are other perspectives of how the Biblical prophecies could yet pan out with regard to Turkey. Britt Gillette for WND.com reported the views of Joel Richardson, New York Times bestselling author of "The Islamic Antichrist" and the director of the new teaching series "The Coming Battle for Jerusalem."
Richardson argued in July that the failed coup in Turkey would empower Islamism within the once secular country, leading to massive global consequences.
"Whether we are speaking of the role of the nations in last days Biblical prophecy, or merely examining current Middle East geopolitics from a secular analysis, understanding what is presently unfolding in Turkey is absolutely critical," Richardson told WND.
"For the past 20 years, American foreign policy has looked to Turkey as the model for what we would like to replicate throughout the region. Turkey, it was thought, was a model of success of a moderate Muslim nation."
Read more at http://www.prophecynewswatch.com/article.cfm?recent_news_id=834#0LIaT5srAsOharth.99