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Turkey and Iran Locked in a Struggle

from the April 13, 2015 eNews issue
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Turkey and Iran Locked in a Struggle

With the agreement between Iran and the P5+1 countries nearing the closing stages, Turkey is beginning to enter into the picture. Turkey has expressed general approval of the agreement stating that it was at a “positive stage.”

Many believe that Turkey’s opinion on the subject is not important. Political analysts, especially in Iran, believe that Turkey is becoming irrelevant and isolated.

There is an old saying in Turkish: “The Turk has no friend but the Turk.” In the short term, at least, the proverb is ringing true. During his tenure as President, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan Turkey rose in prominence. The country began serious negotiations to join the European Union and it increased its diplomatic presence Africa. Istanbul is now one of the largest transportation centers in the world, flying to more countries than any other city.

But since the “Arab Spring”, the diplomatic cards haven’t been dealt to Turkey’s favor.

First, the United Nations passed on Turkey for a new non-permanent membership position on the Security Council. Turkey was sure it had the seat, but lost out to both Spain and New Zealand.

It turns out, to Turkey’s dismay, that the country was backing the wrong horses. First, Turkey backed Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt and then adjusted its foreign and domestic policy based on the assumption of a swift overthrow of President Assad.

Now Turkey has no diplomatic presence in Cairo, it has no ambassador to the country. President Erdogan is now calling Egyptian President Abdul Fattah al-Sisi as an “unelected tyrant”.

Turkey has been drawn into a nightmare scenario in Syria. It is trying to stay out of the conflict while at the same time allowing foreign jihadists to cross its borders.

Ties with Iraq, Iran and Saudi Arabia have also been weakened and Turkey has seen its ties with Israel weakened. Their ambassador to Tel Aviv has been withdrawn over Israel’s bombardment of Gaza; Endogen likened the action to “genocide…reminiscent of the Holocaust”.

Turkey’s relations with the United States, once fairly warm, has also cooled in recent years. As the Obama Administration worked to build a coalition against ISIS, Turkey tried to broker its own deal, refusing to let the U.S. use its airbases here for strikes unless it also targeted President Assad and back a no-fly zone in Syria. In what looked like a diplomatic tit-for-tat, a few hours after Erdogan warned Obama not to arm Kurdish fighters in Syria, the US airdropped weapons to the Kurds. It was a clearly obvious sign of discord.

There is the realization that their foreign relations are not what they used to be, but Ankara justifies it by saying Turkey is isolated because it has higher moral principles than other countries.

Turkey’s isolation is a problem not only for itself but also for the West. If the West wants to achieve its security aims in the region, it has no better potential partner than Turkey.

Turkey is a significant state of the world due to her population and geopolitical position. It has a strategic position in:

Turkey is preparing for the role she will assume in this century, that of a regional hegemon, with a power that will surpass its neighbors, including Iran. Iran is on the front pages now, but it does not have the underlying infrastructure nor the political system to make for a long-term hegemon.

For that role, look to Turkey.

Many prophecy scholars believe that Turkey has a role in the end time scenario as foretold in Ezekiel 38. In the Book, Ezekiel prophesies of a coalition of countries that will attack unsuspecting Israel. Several of the countries mentioned in this chapter are located in Anatolia.

“Son of Man, turn your attention toward Gog, from the land of Magog, the chief noble of Meshech, and Tubal. Prophesy this against him: ’This is what the Lord GOD says: “Watch out! I’m coming after you, Gog, chief ruler of Rosh, Meshech, and Tubal.”

— Ezekiel 38:2–3, ISV

Many Biblical scholars believe that Magog may have been located in what is now modern Turkey because Tubal and Meshech are well attested in Greek and Assyrian records as located in this area. As time goes on, Turkey will come out of its self-imposed isolation and begin to rise as a true hegemon.

How that figures into Ezekiel 38 will be something watched with interest in the coming months and years.

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