New Battleground

From the December 2003 Trumpet Print Edition

Suicide bombers left their mark in Turkey after a second wave of twin car bombs ripped through Istanbul on November 20, five days after the suicide bombings of two synagogues there. A Turkish militant Islamic group claimed responsibility for the attack, stating it worked jointly with al Qaeda.

The attacks bear the mark of al Qaeda. Yet analysts wonder, why Turkey—a moderate Muslim country that has shied away from involvement with the U.S.?

“[T]hese attacks likely send the signal to other countries that remaining neutral and refusing aid to Washington will not prevent them from being targeted” (Stratfor, Nov. 20).

Turkey’s moderate government—the first Muslim nation to recognize Israel and develop strong ties with it, and the only Muslim member of nato—has long straddled the cultural‑religious fault line of Western Christianity and Mideast Islam. So it is no wonder that the attacks targeted the British Consulate, a branch of a London‑based bank and two Jewish synagogues. Al Qaeda could be making Ankara pay for its policies concerning the U.S., Britain and Israel.

The attacks, according to the International Herald Tribune, “appeared aimed at disrupting the pro‑Western secular axis” —an axis that many in the Mideast believe the U.S. and Britain are trying to use to control the region (Nov. 24).

The attacks could potentially spur radical elements to take hold of Turkish politics. “Al Qaeda might be counting on a radicalized Islamist constituency should the military engineer an ouster of the current moderate Islamist leadership …” (Stratfor, op. cit.).

Turkey’s concessions to the growing force of Islamism will leave Israel further isolated and increase the odds of outright Arab‑Israeli war.

Ankara’s ultimate alienation from the U.S., Britain and Israel—together with its longing for identification with Europe—will bring it to doublecross these current allies, as foretold in Bible prophecy. For more on this subject, read “Turkey: An Act of Revenge” under Editor’s Choice on theTrumpet.com.