The coup attempt in Turkey Featured

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Caught the world completely off-guard.

The coup attempt in TurkeyDear Friends of Israel,

The coup attempt in Turkey, which took place on July 15–16, caught the world completely off-guard. The swift crushing of the uprising and the thorough, well-organized arrests of thousands of suspects was every bit as surprising, leading many to wonder if the entire event was staged by President Erdogan himself.

Under the three-month state of emergency that was declared, he practically has complete freedom to eliminate all of his opponents and strengthen his grip on power even further. It seems that nothing could have been more welcome to him than the possibilities that he now has in the aftermath of the revolt, namely the unopposed arrest of everyone who isn’t aligned with him.

Erdogan is primarily blaming his former ally, Fetullah Gulen, and his organization for being behind the failed rebellion. Fetullah Gulen, who has lived in the United States since 1999 under a self-imposed exile, flatly rejected those charges and instead accused Erdogan of staging the coup attempt himself.

Gulen is known as an Islamic cleric with a philosophy that promotes scientific progress, avoids radicalism, and supports building bridges with the West and with other religions.

Erdogan described Gulen and his organization as traitors and a cancer that must be obliterated. He intends to go after them like separatist terrorists and eradicate them wherever they are found.

The whole affair is truly a cause for concern. In the not-too-distant past, in a similar sequence of events, one man in Europe assumed near-absolute power and plunged Europe and the entire world into the worst catastrophe that has ever been known.

Ralph Peters, a retired Army Lieutenant Colonel, said, “The failed coup was the last hope of stopping the Islamization of the Turkish government.” In his opinion, Western leaders were too quick to criticize the revolt, without trying to understand what really happened. “As their reward, they now have a toxic Islamic regime at the gates of Europe,” he said.

It is certainly true that Americans and Europeans simply refuse to recognize that Islam and democracy are mutually exclusive.

Harold Rhode, an experienced former Pentagon official and an expert in Turkish affairs, said that Erdogan, the Islamist, is trying to reconstruct the Turkish caliphate, as a step on his way toward world domination. Against this backdrop, according to Rhode, one of Erdogan’s often repeated statements is noteworthy, “Democracy is like a train that you leave when you get to your destination.”

While President Obama describes democracy as a path worth following, the Turkish president sees democracy as a means to an end, according to Rhode.

All of these unsettling backdrops for the revolt in Turkey, one of the largest and strongest nations in the Middle East and in the Islamic world, are causing concern for the future of the region and even more particularly, for the future of Israel. Do the events in Turkey have any meaning in connection with Biblical eschatology? How will the situation continue to develop? The world, especially those of us who are believers, should be paying attention to the signs of the times (see Matthew 16:2-3).

With reassurance that we don’t need to worry, because the Lord God is in control,

Shalom,
FrediWinkler

News From Israel - 09/2016

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