I want to thank an alert reader for sending me this link to an informative article at the Asia Times website. It offers an insightful analysis of the foreign policy objectives of the current, more-Islamicist regime of Turkish Prime Minister Recep Erdogan. This analysis reports that Turkey’s goal is nothing less than the restoration of the Ottoman Empire’s past dominance over the Sunni Moslem world west of Iran. It reports that “Erdogan is striving to restore Turkey to its rightful place amongst Arab and Muslim nations, and that by no means stops at the gates of Damascus. It is a policy that embraces Egypt, Jordan, Palestine, Syria, Lebanon and Iraq.”
Turkey has made good progress in rebuilding its relationship with Syria and Lebanon. The link below is well worth reading for its comments that Hezbollah and the Lebanese central government have virtually merged into one entity, and that Lebanon is moving decisively closer to Turkey. This bodes ill for the Israelis as the Israelis will have to bomb Lebanon in any future war with Hezbollah. The Israelis do not want to be fighting the Turks if Turkey intervenes militarily on the side of Lebanon.
Turkey has attempted to make itself a power broker between Israel and Syria, Syria and Iraq and even the internal factions within the Palestinian Authority. These efforts have also caused Turkey to put a major chill in its formerly-good relations with the Israelis. Since Iran is Shiite Moslem and all these other nations are Sunni Moslem, it is possible that Turkey is attempting to set itself up as the leader of the Sunni Moslem nations and squeeze Iran out its position of influence with Hezbollah, Hamas, Syria, etc. If so, this will set up a confrontation between Turkey and Iran and all these other Sunni nations will have to decide whose side they are on. Iran can be expected to react very negatively to Turkey’s efforts to remove Iran from it’s position of influence with its allies and proxies in Syria, Hezbollah/Lebanon, Hamas, etc.
Turkey’s efforts to establish itself up as the leader of the Sunni nations faces two other big obstacles. Egypt has long regarded itself as the de facto leader of the Sunni Moslem nations west of Iran, and it can be expected to resent Turkey’s efforts to move Egypt into a position of being a mere vassal of Turkey. Also, Saudi Arabia has traditionally led the other oil-producing Sunni Arab nations such as Kuwait and the Gulf states. They are not likely to look at Turkey’s goal for dominance as a welcome development. Jordan is, as usual, caught in the middle. It has traditionally been an ally of Saudi Arabia and Iraq (with which it shares historic ties). The link below notes the “iron fist” with which the Turks ruled over the Arabs during the reign of the Ottoman Empire. The Arabs have not forgotten the bad experience they had with Turkish rule. Those who wish to gain an insight into that period would do well to watch the old movie, Lawrence of Arabia, which portrays the Arab revolt (with British help) against the Ottoman Turks.
I regard Turkey as one of the nations of modern Edom (the word “Ottoman” has the same consonants of the name of the leading Edomite tribe of “Teman” (Genesis 36:11, 15 and 34)). Edom is not mentioned as an ally of the Gog-Magog alliance in Ezekiel 38, but its current policies make one wonder on which side it will come down when the climactic World War III prophesied in Ezekiel 38-39 comes to pass. I can honestly state I don’t know the answer to that question because the Bible does not give an answer in Ezekiel 38. This situation bears intense scrutiny as we progress further into the “latter day” period of time in which we live.