President Erdogan claims that these threats, together with some preliminary airstrikes are legitimate in the light of the recent terrorist blast in Istanbul. Behind the scenes, of course, he is keenly aware that a distracted Russia is no longer in a position to dissuade him from taking action, and that he is also in a strong position of leverage NATO needs his vote to welcome in Finland and Sweden. And that is to say nothing of the fact that Türkiye is hosting millions of migrants who he could always quietly release and send into Europe . . .
At the same time, Türkiye is providing advanced drones to Ukraine, an arrangement which NATO does not want to jeopardise. All of this spells trouble for the Kurds, who have already been suffering much at the hands of a hostile Iran.
With Türkiye now speaking of actively attacking Athens with ballistic missiles, the stakes continue to rise. The prospect of two key NATO forces squaring up against each other again in this long running dispute is deeply disturbing.
Will Erdogan learn lessons from Putin’s failures in time, and from his own previously thwarted attempts to threaten and intimidate Greece – or will he succumb to the calamitous temptation to launch another ‘Ukraine’ on European soil?
Let’s pray for a defusing of the bellicose intentions in Erdogan’s heart, especially now that Türkiye is speaking of attacking Athens with ballistic missiles. See also this brief extract from a European Commission report. The prospect of two key NATO forces squaring up against each other again in this long running dispute is deeply disturbing.
Father, we are seeking Your that by one means and another You will defuse what is going on in Erdogan’s heart, and so prevent another conflict from being launched on European soil. Lord, Your Kingdom come in Kobani as Türkiye threatens to attack Kurdish-led groups in Syria – and your mercy and restraint between Türkiye and Greece.
This would be an excellent time to pray Dona nobis pacem : grant us peace Lord God.
and the excellent album that follows on from it, starting with the joyous Laudate Dominum.
At its height, the Ottoman empire ruled over 43 countries. Even when World War 1 began, it was still the overlord of countries such as Bulgaria, Romania, Hungary Macedonia, Greece, Jordan, Egypt, Libya, parts of Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Palestine, Lebanon – and more.
With by far the largest armed forces in NATO, and a stated (but utterly unrealisable) ambition is on a similar scale to that of Putin, who wanted to recreate ‘Novorossiya’ in a revived Russian empire. (This, by the way, is a goal that the Russian leadership has quietly set aside).
But a new challenge has arisen. A new autonomous and democratic entity has come into being, with Kobani at its centre. Different groups and faiths are living alongside one another in mutual respect, even to the point of Muslims who come to Christ, uniquely, not being persecuted. It is also home to the Kurds who led the fight against ISIS, and who have been guarding ISIS prisoners. In that sense it reminds me of Lebanon 50 or 60 years ago. Just under one thousand American troops are stationed there, serving alongside a Kurdish-led Syrian defence force to preserve this unparalleled freedom.
Meanwhile, in Türkiye, inflation is bringing intense pressure to bear on the home front and Erdogan, like so many autocratic leaders before him, is seeking to distract attention from that by focusing on an external enemy. Combined with his expansionist wish-list, this is a dangerous mixture. History teaches us that a Turkish invasion of Kobani would likely be brutal, and it is clear that something precious and fragile is at great risk in the Kurdish-led Kobani city and canton.
CBN (Christian Broadcasting News) have been covering this situation, but the international press is not giving it very much attention. But it is yet another important and delicate situation that world leaders – and Biden in particular – are facing. How we need to ask God to intervene and prevent matters escalating swiftly and majorly.
Biggest of all in Erdogan’s wish list is his desire to restore the Ottoman empire; a mercifully unrealisable ambition, but one that is indicative of his nostalgic desire for glories past, in much the same way that Vladimir Putin hankered for a renewal of the Soviet Union.
Turkish shells recently fell within 300 metres of American forces, and similarly close to a prison camp in which 50,000 ISIS prisoners are being held, leading to a stampede of prisoners desperate to escape. Should Türkiye carry out its proposed invasion, the Syrian defence force would be unable to resist both a Turkish incursion, and to continue guarding the prisoners. The consequences would be devastating.
Father, the well-being of ordinary people is rarely a predominant factor for autocratic rulers such as President Erdogan. Caught up as he is in the web of his resentments and ambitions, we had Him to You, for only You can find a way to pierce his conscience and to restrain his proposed assault on the Kurds across the border in Syria. May the power of Your protection be over them, and all the people groups caught up in this renewed belligerence.
May Your Heavenly hosts hold back the powers that would cause Türkiye to launch an attack. Grant world leaders inclination, time and wisdom to attend to these dangers to the world, and to work with decisive clarity. Likewise, we ask You to be Lord over the relationship between Erdogan and the Russian leadership.
Stay the hand of the powers of lawlessness around the world at this time in all their different guises. In Jesus’ name we pray.