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Showing posts from September, 2011

Watch Turkey

It is very common to see frequent headlines about the Middle East. ‘Palestine seeks recognition by the United Nations’ is one of the latest. There are many more, especially in the light of the ‘Arab Spring’ (or, as the Arab media call it, ‘revolution’). But the country that deserves the most attention is one that still eludes the spotlight. That country is Turkey.
Over the years I have constantly spoken about the need to ‘watch Turkey.’ Recent events are vindicating my warning.
Turkey is clearly a key nation of the Middle East, politically, geographically, and militarily. Here’s why.
Turkey the Land:
This nation is located in the Middle East yet serves as a bridge between the Arab world, Central Asia, and the Balkans in SE Europe. It is known as Asia Minor and Anatolia; it was here that the seven churches of Revelation were located (chapters two and three). A natural leader, it has had the Seljuq Empire during the time of the Crusades (1071-1325 AD) and the long-lived Ottoman Empire fro…

‘The Arab Spring’ 2011: We Have Never Seen Anything Like This!

It started in a most improbable way. A Tunisian vegetable street vendor named Muhammad Bouazizi was confronted by a policewoman on 17 December 2010. Bouazizi, age 26, was the sole bread winner for his widowed mother and seven siblings. He handed the policewoman the normal fine, equivalent to a day’s work. Instead of receiving it, she slapped Bouazizi on the face and cursed his dead father. Understandably incensed by this, Bouazizi went to the provincial office to complain. They were not interested. So within less than a hour, he returned to the place of the incident, poured petrol over his head and set himself alight.
This self-immolation of Muhammad Bouazizi kick started the Tunisian ‘Jasmine Revolution’ which, in a matter of weeks, led to the ousting of long-term President Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali. He had been at the helm of Tunisia since 1987. Soon the fire spread to neighbouring Egypt, where anger over the 29 year rule of Hosni Mubarak led to protests at Tahrir Square, Cairo. In jus…

The Only Solution

We have just completed a ministry trip that could be entitled: ‘Around the World in 84 Days.’ As always, these excursions are full of adventure: Southeast Asia, Siberian Russia, United Kingdom in full bloom and clear blue skies, New York City in a heat wave, and the American West Coast in summer mode. No ... it was not a holiday. It was real work but also very worthwhile.
While there are many positive things to report, the area of great concern is the obvious economic decline in the western world, particularly the United States. This giant of a country, with once unmatched economic, military, and moral power, is clearly struggling on several fronts. The most obvious is in the economy: unemployment is near 10%, home prices have tumbled, the annual budget deficit is $1.6 trillion, and overall debt hovers at $14 trillion. We personally with people who have either lost their livelihood or their homes. Once thriving shopping malls look like ghost towns. Jobs are difficult to find. A series …