TURKEY - ‘Jerusalem Is Our City,’ Says Erdogan

Arno Froese

Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan opened the Turkish parliament’s legislative session with a long speech that addressed the city of Jerusalem and the Palestinian people, in which he stated: “Jerusalem is our city.”

Erdoğan mentioned that Jerusalem’s walls that still stand today, as well as the Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem’s Old City, were reconstructed and restored by Suleiman the Magnificent, who reigned over the Ottoman Empire from 1520 until his death in 1566. 

“The issue of Jerusalem is not an ordinary geopolitical problem for us,” Erdoğan said. “First of all, the current appearance of the Old City, which is the heart of Jerusalem, was built by Suleiman the Magnificent, with its walls, bazaar, and many buildings. Our ancestors showed their respect for centuries by keeping this city in high esteem.”

Suleiman the Magnificent was known for protecting the Jewish subjects of his empire through unprecedented reforms at the time, and is believed to have had a Jewish mother. 

“In the broad sense of his speech, Erdoğan referred to three major countries—Greece, Armenia and Israel—and not by accident,” said Dr. Hay Eytan Cohen Yanarocak. “The common denominator of these countries is the fact that they are nation-states composed of the main minorities that existed in the Ottoman Empire and in today’s Republic of Turkey.

“When Erdoğan lashes out, whether it be against Armenia, via military assistance to Azerbaijan, against Greece or by verbal attacks on Israel, we know that he is translating all of these steps towards electoral success,” Yanarocak said. “It’s not just about supporting the Palestinians, but about defining the way that the Turkish majority perceives minorities within the country, and how that perspective is reflected in Erdoğan’s foreign policy.” 

-www.jpost.com, 3 October 2020

Arno's commentary

Objectively, when looking at the Old City, it was primarily built by Muslims. Thus, when President Erdogan makes the statement, “Jerusalem is our city,” he is not far off. However, that can also be said for the Romans, the Byzantines, and others who were in charge of the Holy Land, particularly Jerusalem.

Our concern is: what does the Bible say? Israel’s history begins with Abraham. Genesis 14:18-20 says: “And Melchizedek king of Salem brought forth bread and wine: and he was the priest of the most high God. And he blessed him, and said, Blessed be Abram of the most high God, possessor of heaven and earth: And blessed be the most high God, which hath delivered thine enemies into thy hand. And he gave him tithes of all.” This somewhat mysterious Melchizedek, king of Salem, is described in Hebrews 7:3: “Without father, without mother, without descent, having neither beginning of days, nor end of life; but made like unto the Son of God; abideth a priest continually.” We note the words, “made like unto the Son of God,” but he is not. Yet this meeting way back in Abraham’s time shows Israel’s historic right to Jerusalem.

But there is more; Hebrews 12:22 reads: “But ye are come unto mount Sion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels.”

Arno Froese is the executive director of Midnight Call Ministries and editor-in-chief of the acclaimed prophetic magazines Midnight Call and News From Israel. He has authored a number of well-received books, and has sponsored many prophecy conferences in the U.S., Canada, and Israel. His extensive travels have contributed to his keen insight into Bible prophecy, as he sees it from an international perspective.

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