The modern nation of Turkey is an important player in the events leading to the Day of the Lord. Though it is a Muslim nation at present, in the earliest centuries of the new testament church, it was in the Turkish region that the gospel first flourished beyond the borders of Judea and Samaria.
The apostles took the gospel to what then was refered to as the Roman province of Asia, within decades of the resurrection of Jesus. Paul taught there for two years as recorded in Acts 19.The original letters of the Apocalypse were addressed to churches in Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamos, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia, and to Laodicea, all in modern-day Turkey.
The epistles to Thessalonica, Galatians, I John, I and II Timothy and Revelation all originally addressed greek speaking converts in what is now called Turkey. Eventually the Roman Emperor Constantine, in the 4th century, built a city on the Dardanelles strait, Constantinople, as the eastern capital of the Roman Empire.
For the next thousand years, the Christianity that Constantine officially legalized, became the religion of the Byzantine empire, which extended over the middle east, a swath of eastern Europe and all of Turkey.
But with the rise and expansion of Islam, bit, by bit, Byzantium fell to the Muslims over the next eight centuries, slowly and steadily until in 1452 Constantinople fell to the Muslim invaders. The Turkish empire which replaced it, became known as the Ottoman empire, a Sunni Muslim empire which held sway for five centuries, but which collapsed as an outcome of World War 1, the Turks having been on the losing side.
One of Turkey’s post war leaders, was a man named Mustafa Kemal. He was also known as Ataturk ,”Father of Turks”, and as a hero of the first World War ,who had commanded Turkish forces during the ill-fated British invasion and siege of Gallipoli.
In the aftermath of the war, Attaturk initiated sweeping national reforms; culturally, politically and even religiously, Seperating the power of the Mosque from the state, outlawing religious clothing such as the hijab and other forms of Islamic attire. For more than eighty years, these reforms have remained, allowing Turkey to become a modern, secular state, a partner with NATO, and to be considered for membership in the European Union.
The fairly recent elections in Turkey brought Turkish Islamist elements to power. Already the former friendship with the United States has weakened and Turkey is distancing herself from Israel. One by one many of Ataturk’s reforms are being reversed as Islam reasserts itself in Turkish society.
Turkey’s long friendship with the United States and with Israel has cooled, and she has began to assert herself as a regional Muslim power with a first class military and economy.
The Prophets of the Bible have much to say about the future of this non-Arab Islamic people. Meshech, Gomer and ”Beth Togarmah”, (ie the house of Togarmeh), are some of the names the Biblical prophets cite when referring to this region.
And the word of the Lord came unto me, saying, Son of man, set thy face against Gog, the land of Magog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal, and prophesy against him, And say, Thus saith the Lord God; Behold, I am against thee, O Gog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal:
And I will turn thee back, and put hooks into thy jaws, and I will bring thee forth, and all thine army, horses and horsemen, all of them clothed with all sorts of armour, even a great company with bucklers and shields, all of them handling swords: 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.(Ezekiel 38:1-6)
*Gog, and Magog - Gog is a person, a designation for an Anti-God leader of a rebellion. Magog is the name of a region, particularly, the southern Steppes of Russia, Turkmenistan,Kazakhstan,Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, and Azerbaijan.
* Meshech and Tubal- Meshech was the son of Japheth, Noah’s son. Many believe that Meshech is Moscow, but It has been pointed out in Walid Shoebat’s valuable book,”God’s War On Terror”, that ancient historians such as Herodotus and Josephus, associate Meshech with the Cappadocians. Cappadocia is a region in Turkey. Tubal was a regional ally of Meshech.
* Gomer- This is a reference to the ancient Kimmerian peoples, of central Turkey.
*Beth Togarmeh- The house of Togarmeh, which was a city-state in Eastern Turkey, more recently known as Anatolia.
It may be as many surmise, that “Gog” is the head of the Russian people, leading these Islamic nations into battle against the Jews. God addresses him personally in Ezekiel, insuring him of his defeat. The Russians have certainly been an “armorer” unto these nations as Ezekiel 38:7 literally says, “…Be thou an armorer unto them”.
Be thou prepared, and prepare for thyself, thou, and all thy company that are assembled unto thee, and be thou a guard unto them.
Though the Turks have traditionally been inveterate foes of the Russians for centuries, and were aligned with the US in the cold war confrontation with the Soviet Union, the combination of being refused admission to the EU and the election to office of the Islamist politicians, Turkey has been pursuing deeper ties with the Arab world, and with the Russians who are arming it.
After many days thou shalt be visited: in the latter years thou shalt come into the land that is brought back from the sword, and is gathered out of many people, against the mountains of Israel, which have been always waste: but it is brought forth out of the nations, and they shall dwell safely all of them.
Ezekiel tells us that Turkey is slated to participate in a muli-national invasion of Israel, which is doomed to suffer a direct judgment of God as a consequence and on the basis of Genesis 12:3, “…I will bless those who bless you and curse those who curse you”.
The Turks will be there, for the terrible war, with their “grade A “military; western trained, and equipped. They will come down, along with the Turkik nations of the former Soviet Union, Iran, Libya, Somalia/Sudan, and possibly led by Russia. All of these nations are united in a bitter hatred of Israel, and all except Russia, have Islam in common, to stoke that hatred.
They will serve as a living and dying demonstration that there is truly a God in the earth, as prophesied by Ezekiel and others,
Therefore, thou son of man, prophesy against Gog, and say, Thus saith the Lord God; Behold, I am against thee, O Gog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal: And I will turn thee back, and leave but the sixth part of thee, and will cause thee to come up from the north parts, and will bring thee upon the mountains of Israel: And I will smite thy bow out of thy left hand, and will cause thine arrows to fall out of thy right hand. Thou shalt fall upon the mountains of Israel, thou, and all thy bands, and the people that is with thee: I will give thee unto the ravenous birds of every sort, and to the beasts of the field to be devoured. Thou shalt fall upon the open field: for I have spoken it, saith the Lord God. And I will send a fire on Magog, and among them that dwell carelessly in the isles: and they shall know that I am the Lord. So will I make my holy name known in the midst of my people Israel; and I will not let them pollute my holy name any more: and the heathen shall know that I am the Lord, the Holy One in Israel.(Ezekiel 39:1-7)