Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Reading PCG's Article, Turkey: An Act of Revenge (1997)

Back in the December 1997 issue of PCG's recruitment magazine, The Philadelphia Trumpet, Joel Hilliker wrote an article insisting that Turkey is Edom and that Turkey is fated to betray the Stae of Israel and will be utterly destroyed by (PCG's) God for this future betrayal. Let's see what Hilliker has to say.
Thus saith the Lord God concerning Edom [or Esau—see Genesis 36:8]; ... I have made thee small among the heathen: thou art greatly despised.” These words, found in the book of Obadiah (verses 1-2), describe modern Turkey. Interestingly, political analysts point out that Turkey does not have a single neighbor with whom it is on consistently good terms. It is truly an anomaly on the geo-political scene.
Somehow that does not sound right.

It is complete nonsense to say that Turkey is Edom. The Turks came from Central Asia and in times past migrated westward to what is now Turkey.

Turkey is not Edom. The Turkish language is a Turkic language totally unrelated to Hebrew or Arabic. Other related Turkic languages include Azerbaijani, Uzbek, Kazakh, Uyghur, Turkmen, Tatar and Kyrgyz. Are those related peoples all Edomites? If the Turks are really related to Israel as common descendants of Isaac why do they speak a completely unrelated language?

Also this idea comes from British Israelism. As reported in a previous post:
Ever wondered why HWA identified Turkey as Edom? Among British-Israelites Edom was identified with the Turks. M. M. Eshelman, for example, identified the Turks as Edom in a book published in 1887 ([Michael Barkun, Religion and the Racist Right,] p. 128-9). HWA simply copied this earlier idea.
Hilliker then talks about Turkish concerns regarding an arms deal of Cyprus purchasing missiles from Russia. So of course Hilliker fear mongers that this could lead to war with Turkey on one side and Greece and Russia on the other and the European Union might get entangled in it.
Greek-Turkish relations are currently under severe strain as a result of Cyprus’ intention to purchase Russian S-300 missile systems. Turkey has declared that this would mean war. Greece has declared that it will come to the aid of Cyprus in the event of any aggressive action by Turkey. Russia too exhibits no signs of backing down.

If Turkey becomes occupied in a costly war with Russia and Greece (and because Greece is a European Unionmember [sic] nation, the EU may be drawn into the conflict as well), serious consequences lay in store. With its Turkish ally neutralized, Israel may suddenly find itself in an angry hornet’s nest—dealing with Syria, newly brazen in its grab for middle-eastern territory and power. (pp. 1-2.)
Hilliker could have mentioned the centuries of Ottoman Turkish rule over Greece which is a major reason for the historically hostile relations between Greece and Turkey. Alas, tense relations between these two countries are nothing new. But thankfully such tensions seem to have now abated. May it stay that way.

Hilliker also fear mongers that such a war might lead Syria to attack the State of Israel. PCG had no idea that no such war would occur. Today the Assad regime is busy engaged in a cataclysmic civil war caused by its brutal repression of initially peaceful protests in 2011. Once again it is clear PCG cannot see the future.

Hilliker then talks about Turkey being frustrated at the slow progress towards joining the European Union.
With its application for membership in the EU still on hold, Turkey’s association with the West is souring, even among government officials. (p. 2.)
To this day Turkey is still not in the European Union but this has also not lead to hostile relations after all these years.

Hilliker then accuses the United States government of being a collaborator with Syria, Iran, Russia and Kurds in Turkey by not taking Turkey's side on this matter. Black and white thinking strikes again.
In addition, the U.S.’s support for Turkey appears somewhat unstable, as America seems unwilling to offend Greece. By indirectly helping Greece, America is in effect also helping Syria, Iran, and Russia—and even the PKK [Kurdistan Workers' Party] forces within Turkey. If the trend continues, these Islamic forces without and within her borders might take over. (p. 2.)
Is that not amazing? Just because the United States did not want to take sides against Cyprus purchasing those Russian missiles in Hilliker's imagination this means the United States government is helping Syria, Iran, Russia and the PKK.

Hilliker calls these nation states and the PKK as "Islamic forces". How true is this?

Is Russia one of these "Islamic forces" Hilliker is fear mongering about?

Also the Kurdistan Workers' Party is a far left, secular organization. Just look at the name, "Workers' Party." How much more left wing can you get? At the time the PKK had been waging an armed insurgency against the Turkish government since 1984. Later NATO listed the PKK as a terrorist organization because of its armed insurgency against the Turkish government. So much for the United States supposedly helping the PKK as Hilliker alleged here.

(Tragically this particular armed conflict has flared up again recently following ISIL's murderous bombing in Suruc on July 20, 2015 that killed 33 people, mainly left wing Kurds who were organizing to help rebuild Kobanî. That lead to a deadly revenge attack by the PKK against persons the PKK accused of collaborating with ISIL. This was then followed by even more deadly air strikes by Turkey against PKK camps. Whatever the truth may happen to be about these matters, may peace soon come to that troubled region.)

Also the Assad regime in Syria was a secular government that had earlier suppressed an armed insurgency by the Syrian Muslim Brotherhood by killing about 20,000 people in Hama. There is also no mention about Syria wanting the return of the Golan Heights that had been lost to the State of Israel during the Six Day War in 1967 and which is a major reason for the hostile relations between those two countries.

Iran casts itself as Muslim in how its government is portrayed and justified to its people. But every other nation state and the PKK mentioned by Hilliker was quite secular. And yet he simplistically referred to them as "Islamic forces" that "might take over" Turkey.

Hilliker then fear mongers that Turkey will become hostile towards the West.
Obviously, with decreasing incentive to remain on friendly terms with the West, Turkey may decide to resolve its problems by making concessions to the Arabs. Even passively giving up its current resistance to their cause would be enough. There are indications that the current Turkish administration is already strengthening ties with Iraq. (p. 2.)
 Then Hilliker tells us what will supposedly happen very soon.
The biblical prophecies regarding events in the Middle East are clear: another Arab-Israel war will very certainly erupt—and surely initiated by Islamic forces. That conflagration will trigger the Great Tribulation and the whole series of events leading to Christ’s return.

Certainly, there are factors besides Turkey currently holding back the Islamic tide, but once these too are eliminated the Arabs will take their cue to sack Jerusalem. That grab for power will provoke the great European bloc of nations to intervene in the melee. They will set up armies around Jerusalem—appearing like a “peacekeeping force”.... Suddenly, however, they will become a deadly WAR MACHINE. It won’t be just Arabs that suffer at their hands; this European power will turn its full force on the nations of Israel—including America and Britain. ... Many Israelites in the Jerusalem area will be trapped! (pp. 2-3.)
Hilliker then cites a June 1966 article by Garner Ted Armstrong (who is left unnamed) to insist that when this European Empire invades the State of Israel many Israeli Jews will flee north into Turkey but that Turkey will hand over these fleeing Israeli Jews to the European Empire and consequently gain the wrath of (PCG's) God.

This is all nonsense. It will never happen.

Hilliker ends this article that imagines that Turkey will soon experience genocide at the hands of PCG's God with these words.
Yes—through the centuries, Israel has been faithless to God. But still, these verses reveal how, in spite of that, God’s wrath—the wrath of a wronged parent —is still mightily aroused when Turkey plays false to her. Prophecies show that God will virtually wipe out the memory of Turkey! No small punishment for a nation taking to itself the divine charge of acting in revenge. (p. 3.)
Considering that Turkey has long been an ally of the United States and that Turkey is not Edom this seems most ungrateful and quite hostile towards the Turkish people. It is terrible to accuse the Turkish people of being fated to be soon destroyed.


  1. The Armstrong prophecy mold never seems to have accounted for the Ottoman empire.

    On the other hand, they certainly didn't ever teach us anything about the Armenian holocaust, either. My education regarding that came when an Armenian newspaper purchased mailing equipment from me back in the 1980s. My Armenian friends never treated me as an "Odar". They shared their culture with me freely, even to the point of drinking Ouzo when we set some new production records.


  2. Having heard that British Israelism "identified" Edom with Turkey as early as 1887 it would appear that British Israelism vilified Turkey as Edom precisely because the Turks were the dominant ethnic group in the Ottoman Empire.

    I will say that the genocide against the Armenians was a most terrible and ghastly thing. I'm afraid I never met any Armentian who talked about it with me so I ended up reading The Burning Tigris by Peter Balakian.

    That is a wonderful story you shared, Byker Bob. Thank you for sharing that on this blog.