Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Turkey-Israel relationship deteriorating

Anyone who reads the bible knows the end from the beginning. In many cases we don't know how the LORD will perform a certain thing that is prophesied to come to pass, but we know it will, because He said it will. In other cases, we do know how, we know who, and we even have a general time frame when.

For example, we know that Israel and Turkey will wind up enemies. In Ezekiel 38-39 it is prophesied that Turkey will be an aggressor against Israel, along with Russia, Armenia, Iran, Libya, Sudan and others. (Ez 38:3-6). They attack Israel. It is a surprise attack, at a moment when Israel thinks she can let down her guard. (Ez 38:11). Therefore it is especially devastating, and Israel almost loses the battle. But the LORD intervenes personally and Israel is saved. The world knows it is the LORD's power that defeated Israel's enemies, and not anything else. (Ez 38:22-23; Ez 39:6)

So over the last decade as Turkey had moved to a more democratic and less Muslim form of government and civic outlook, and seemed to be gravitating to the West in their persistent requests to become part of the EU, people who study prophecy knew that it would not last. We just did not know when the relationship would dissipate into a downward spiral of mistrust and hatred. It seems that that time is now.

Just before the Labor Day weekend, Turkey recalled its Ambassador from Turkey and began to engage in a diplomatic cold war. Arutz Sheva reports:

"Turkey Declares Diplomatic Cold War on Israel"
"Turkey has unofficially declared a diplomatic cold war, recalling its ambassador and threatening to charge Israel in the International Court. Turkish Minister of Foreign Affairs Ahmet Davutoglu announced on Friday that Ankara was not only recalling its ambassador but also “will reduce its level of diplomatic representation in Israel to that of second secretary, a lower rank than consul. ... Turkey is suspending all military agreements with Israel..."

The split has begun. Even more dramatic, was two days later when Turkey shockingly harassed incoming Israelis at the airport. Yedioth News reports,

"Israelis held in Istanbul airport"
About 40 Israeli passengers on board a Turkish Airlines flight from Tel Aviv to Istanbul were held for several hours by local police on Monday after their passports had been taken away from them. The passengers said that the Turkish police officers were disrespectful, claiming that such an incident was unprecedented. "I think that the police officers didn't even know what they were looking for," one of the passengers told Ynet. "They apparently got an order to detain us, one by one. Everyone was in shock; we didn't know what they were going to do to us. Obviously this was done intentionally in order to create an unpleasant feeling."

In addition to personally harassing Israelis, the Turkish government decided to harass Israel militarily, also.

Turkey navy to escort aid ships to Palestinians in Gaza
Turkish officials tell Hurriyet Daily News that Turkish navy will strengthen presence in eastern Mediterranean Sea to stop Israeli 'bullying'.

In an even more provoking mood, Turkey is planning to visit Egypt, but to also visit the Gaza Strip. This is one step too far, as Israel is concerned.

'Erdogan visit to Gaza would hurt Turkey-US ties'
"A senior Israeli official on Sunday warned that it would be a diplomatic mistake for Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan to visit the Gaza Strip as reports in the Turkish and Arab media suggested he was considering doing. The Qatar News Agency (QNA) reported on Sunday that Erdogan will pay a two-day visit to Egypt beginning September 12 and may subsequently cross the border into the Gaza Strip. ... Turkish Deputy Premier Bulent Arinc stated that the visit was expected to produce important decisions reflecting the strength of relations between Turkey and Egypt."

And today, the Washington Post wonders, "Turkey and Israel: Can they repair the relationship?"

They sum up, "With Erdogan in charge, a return to the good old days is highly unlikely. But Turkey, for now at least, needs to perform a balancing act — remaining on good terms with the United States, feeding its domestic audience a steady diet of anti-Zionist rhetoric and not entirely jettisoning the relationship with the Jewish state. With Syria’s Bashar al-Assad under siege and the rest of the Middle East convulsed in turmoil, Turkey may find it unwise to sulk for too long. Who knows which of Ankara’s allies will survive? Perhaps cooler heads and a desire to keep at least one foot firmly planted in the West will temper the Turks’ response."

Hope springs eternal, doesn't it? I hope that the people in these nations will find peace, I pray that they do. But any lull or temporary softening of the harsh stances will be short lived, because we know the end from the beginning.

Egypt suffers dreadful losses during the Tribulation, and a final defeat as a nation by Israel. (Isaiah 19:16-17). However, the LORD blesses Egypt at the beginning of the Millennium, along with Israel and Assyria. Egypt turns to the LORD en masse. They still must endure a 40 year desolation, (Ezekiel 29:8-16) they are welcomed back to the LORD after that.

Turkey does not fare as well. At the Gog-Magog battle, "I will execute judgment on him with plague and bloodshed. I will pour out torrential rain, hailstones, fire, and brimstone on him, as well as his troops and the many peoples who are with him."

The above articles all happened within the last few days. The relationship between Turkey and Israel is devolving fast. Hopefully the rapture is right behind.

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