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Turkey in Prophecy

Turkey, forgotten and ignored in much of world news today, is destined to become important in world affairs!
Bible prophecy shows a strange and bizarre future for this important nation at the crossroads between Europe and Asia.
Read here what your Bible says about Turkey's future!


Istanbul, Turkey

HERE in Istanbul, bustling European economic capital of modern Turkey, I am writing from one of the most important crossroads on earth today. In front of me ships sail slowly by, headed up toward the Black Sea and the Crimea, or down toward the Dardanelles and the Mediterranean.


European Turkey

This small enclave of Turkey in the European littoral is in many ways the most important part of Turkey. Bounded to my west by Bulgaria and Greece, European Turkey represents a substantial grip by this nation on one of the world's most important sea gates, the Bosporus and Dardanelles.

Grecian claims on this area, plus disputes over possession of the island of Cyprus, have meant strained relationships and near war between the two neighbors in the past.

Because of its strategic location, Turkey has been of prime importance to the big powers in recent cold war history. You may remember it was from a Strategic Air Command base in this nation that the ill-fated Powers U-2 flight was made. Embarrassing admissions by the U.S. Department of State followed, when the U.S. Government revealed constant U-2 spy flights were being made over Russia from bases in Turkey. Finally, to lessen tensions in the modern furor of the cold war, the

U.S. dismantled and removed some of its important military installations in Turkey. Turkey is, however, a member of NATO — and signed a mutual defense pact with the U.S. in 1959.

But in our modern jet-hydrogen-space age, how could a nation be of such strategic importance merely because of its geographical location?

Simply because no matter how advanced our technology is, no matter how fast our airplanes fly, or how many orbital satellites we boost into outer space around this earth, mankind in all of his nations must still subsist on raw materials and minerals out of the soil.

And in many ways, Turkey lays claim to two of the most important of these considerations.

First, she stands athwart the Bosporus-Dardanelles, thereby effectively controlling one of the most important sea gates on earth. Constantly, huge vessels go sailing through this narrow Bosporus.

Tankers from all over the world; freighters, passenger vessels, the famous Russian trawlers, and, now and then, Russian submarines on their way into the Aegean and Mediterranean for patrol there and on out into the broad Atlantic.

Turkey, of course, does not desire any blockade of the mammoth amount of Russian shipping passing through these tortuous channels — since Russia's reaction could well be disastrous to the Turkish economy and future security as a nation.

However, because of Turkey's relationship with the United States and NATO, and her refusal to allow Soviet Russia to participate in the control and defense of these strategic sea gates, you can be sure the Communists are quite concerned about Turkey's course in modern geopolitics.

Secondly, Turkey is of vital importance to the big powers because of her vast, and largely untapped, natural resources.

In some ways Turkey is a "younger" nation than the United States. She has large, relatively undeveloped deposits of coal, iron, copper, petroleum and chrome.

Turkey is the world's largest producer of chrome. Many other minerals are found here, such as lead, antimony, sulphur, mercury, molybdenum, magnetite, silver, manganese, zinc, and asbestos.

It is believed Turkey possesses rich oil deposits, and extensive exploration to develop oil production is under way.

Obviously, looking at any map would tell you that should Turkey become more oriented toward the Soviet bloc of nations and less oriented toward the West, it would bring about a climactic and possibly disastrous shift in the balance of power in the Middle East.

To illustrate the point — remember that in 1946 a Civil War was quelled in Greece with the assistance of British military forces.

A hasty amphibious landing of British tanks successfully staved off a Communist attempt to bypass Turkey and reach warm-water Mediterranean ports via a Communist take-over of the Government of Greece.

Presently, all seems quiet in Turkey. The people here are friendly enough to Americans — many American businesses and enterprises flourish — and visitors do not sense as much a feeling of tension in the air such as is evident in Egypt, Jordan and many other nations in the strife-torn Middle East.

However, deceptively peaceful though it seems now, this part of the world is destined to become the scene of one of the bloodiest of battles in future years. Turkey's history tells why.

First, what of the recent history of Turkey? What were her loyalties during World Wars I and II?


Turkey of the Modern Era

Turkey, or the Ottoman Empire, stretched all the way from Yemen on the south of the Arabian Peninsula to European Turkey bounded by Bulgaria and Greece. The Ottoman Empire held full sway over all of Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Syria, Palestine, Lebanon, Iraq, Jordan, the islands in the Aegean Sea, the Anatolian Peninsula and European Turkey.

Siding with Kaiser Wilhelm II in World War I, the Ottoman Empire crumbled in defeat and was partitioned after the signing of the armistice between the Western allies and the Central powers in 1918.

Many of the areas of the former Ottoman Empire became British or French mandates after World War I; notably, and perhaps most easily remembered is Palestine, captured from the Turks by General Allenby.

Then came the revolution led by Mustafa Kemal Atatiirk. He became the first President of Turkey after the revolutionary republic's birth in 1923.

After the caliphate (spiritual leadership of Islam) was renounced in 1924, Turkey gradually achieved complete separation of Church and State, and began economic and industrial reforms which have steadily improved Turkey's economic climate.

Presently, Turkey is ruled by a civilian parliamentary government, with a President elected to a seven-year term, unable to succeed himself.

But what of Turkey in prophecy? Does Bible prophecy have anything to say about this nation so strategically placed between the Middle Eastern countries of potential violence and the emerging towering colossus of Central Europe?


The Brother of Jacob

Believe it or not, the Turkish people are directly related to Americans and Britons through Abraham and Isaac.

Turkey can be identified by research in encyclopedias, or history books dealing with the subject, as the descendants of Esau!

Esau was the brother of Jacob and first son of Isaac.

You will read of how the Turks lost their precious birthright in chapter 27 of the book of Genesis.

As shocking as it sounds, these people here were the original birthright peoples, destined by right of birth to become the holders of the richest and most desirable portions of the entirety of this earth!

If you have not read our free booklet, The United States and the British Commonwealth in Prophecy, then be sure to write for it immediately — it explains and makes clear in Bible history how it came that six percent of the population of the world enjoys fifty percent of its fabulous wealth!

Actually, the entire story climaxes in subterfuge on the part of Rebekah and Jacob who convince the aging and almost totally blind Isaac that the younger brother Jacob was Esau.

After the trickery of the savory meal they made pass for venison, and the skin of a goat on the forearms of Jacob, Isaac said, "Therefore God give thee of the dew of heaven, and the fatness of the earth, and plenty of corn and wine: let people serve thee, and nations bow down to thee: be lord over thy brethren, and let thy mother's sons bow down to thee: cursed be everyone that curseth thee, and blessed be he that blesseth thee!" (Gen. 27:28-29)

Actually, this was nothing more than the fulfillment of a prophecy revealed to Rebekah prior to the birth of the two children. Almighty God allowed human nature, with its innate selfishness, to effect this subterfuge — but it was of His doing and intent all along.

God had said, in answer to Rebekah's earlier question concerning the nearing birth of twins, "Two nations are in thy womb, and two manner of people [two totally different kinds of people, two different nations or distinct national types!) shall be separated from thy bowels; and the one people shall be stronger than the other people; and the elder shall serve the younger" (Gen. 25:23).

At the end of that chapter is the account of how Jacob gave Esau bread and a pottage of lentils and how Esau despised his birthright — treated it as of no account or value.

Jacob was born with a certain tenacity, a certain ingenuity and inventiveness. Jacob was an individual who would put down roots in the land, develop it, search out its wealth and resources.

Not so with Esau. He became a hunter. He was by nature, a man who would walk over the land, not seeing the tremendous wealth and value of it beneath his feet!

Instead of developing and using the natural resources of the land, he left it as he found it.

God Almighty had a direct hand in the choosing and selecting of certain national characteristics which He wanted in the called and chosen people through whom He was to fulfill His purpose.

God did not call or choose a "favorite" people — but a special people to whom He gave a GREAT COMMISSION.

Those peoples have never fulfilled that commission — but have rejected God and His laws.

Nevertheless, because of the tremendous promises God made to Abraham, God has made good His promises repeated there to Jacob.

Later, in the thirty-sixth chapter of the book of Genesis, you will read of the various dukes and leaders of Esau. In the first verse of that chapter, you will ready "Esau, who is Edom." The same statement is repeated in verse 8. Now notice the names of the sons of Esau, beginning in verses 9 and 10 of Chapter 36.

One of the grandsons of Esau was Teman (verse 11). Teman became a great leader among the peoples who followed in that area to the south and east of the Dead Sea. As the Edomites began to expand, inhabiting all the rocky clefts and the high mountainous peaks to the east of the River Jordan, portions of the land began to bear. the name of Teman, being called the "Land of Temani."

And this is no different from our modern world. In almost every nation,cities, villages, towns, counties, states, or shires bear the name of developers, discoverers, outstanding leaders in government or the military.

Much of the area, later including the rocky Anatolian, Persian and Turkestan plateaus became known as "the Land of Temani." You will see this proved by turning to Genesis 36:34. "And Jobab died, and Husham of the land of Temani reigned in his stead."

Is it any wonder, then, that the indelible stamp of Teman, one of the leading dukes of ancient Edom, was carried down into modern history in the form of the "Ottoman" Empire?

Now notice some of the prophecies concerning modern Turkey.