The Ottoman Empire existed from 1299 until
It was in many
respects the Islamic successor to the Eastern leg of the Roman
Empire and like the Romans had its headquarters in
At the peak of its power, the Ottoman Empire extended
from the Adriatic Sea in the west to the Caspian Sea in the east
and from Austro-Hungary in the north to the southern tip of the
was at the center of interactions between the Eastern and
Western worlds for 6 centuries.
The Ottoman Empire was defeated in World War 1 after
aligning with Germany.
Its dissolution at the end of the war led to the
formation of 40 new countries in Eastern Europe, the Middle
East, and Northern Africa, many of them on land once claimed by
The Empire's greatest days occurred under
the rule of Suleiman the Magnificent who reigned from 1520-1566.
Only 25 years old when he came to power, Suleiman began his
reign by performing many acts of kindness and mercy toward his
hundreds of slaves, showered his officers with gifts, and built
a school for slaves.
To the Ottomans he was known as The Lawgiver, having re-written
the non-Shariah portions of the law.
This was the law by which the Empire was governed for all
of the remaining years of its existence. Because of the
humanitarian nature of his laws he was also called
Suleiman the Just by his subjects.
Suleiman was a powerful conqueror for
pushed the boundaries of the Empire nearly to Vienna and his
powerful navies controlled the Mediterranean.
Because of the tribute he received Suleiman became one of
the wealthiest men of all time.
He never wore the same clothes twice, he ate from solid
gold plates with jewel encrusted utensils and had a harem of
over 300 women.
The Ottomans were
tolerant toward the Jews and welcomed thousands of them into the
Empire after King Ferdinand expelled them from Spain in 1492.
Suleiman's father had wrested control of what is now
Israel from Egypt in 1517 and Suleiman fell in love with
Jerusalem, ordering its walls rebuilt in 1535.
It was the first successful rebuilding of Jerusalem's
walls since the Romans destroyed the city in 70 AD and
Suleiman's walls can still be seen surrounding the Old City
(According to Nehemiah, the Persian King
Artaxerxes Longimonus issued a decree to restore and rebuild
Jerusalem in the spring of the 20th year of his reign
(normal" Nehemiah 2:1). On our calendar it would have been March of 445BC.
On the 483rd anniversary of this decree Jesus rode into
Jerusalem on a donkey on what we know as the first Palm Sunday,
fulfilling the prophecy from
Daniel 9:25 of the
Lord's 1st Coming as Israel's Messiah.
Then in 68-70 AD the city was destroyed by the Romans.
After centuries of being rebuilt and then torn down by various
conquering groups, the walls around Jerusalem were finally
rebuilt for good by Suleiman beginning in 1535 AD, and during
his reign the city enjoyed an exceptional period of peace and
Based on my understanding of
Matt. 24:34 and Psalm 90:10,
Jesus should return in 2018, 70 years after the re-birth of
Israel. If so, it will also have been 483 years from the
time Suleiman ordered Jerusalem's walls rebuilt to the 2nd
Coming. If this is merely a coincidence, it is truly a
Mustafa Kemal Ataturk
Turkey is the surviving remnant of the
Following their defeat in WW1 the Empire was divided up by the
victorious Western powers.
Mustafa Kemal Ataturk had been a high ranking Ottoman
officer and led the effort to found the Republic of Turkey.
He set about to make it a secular nation in the style of
While endorsing Islam, he limited it to the status of a religion
instead of allowing it to be the political force it had been.
He saw to the suspension of the Ottoman Caliphate and
Sultanate, clearing the way for the newly formed National
Parliament to assume ultimate power.
Among the many changes he enforced were the institution
of a new language and alphabet, the adoption of western style of
dress and mandatory 2nd
names for men, and the granting of full political rights
From that day to this, Turkey has been
viewed as a western nation.
With membership in NATO and more than a dozen military
and commercial treaties with Israel, Turkey has been an
important western ally in the Middle East.
In fact, many students of prophecy have seen Turkey's
alignment with the west as a major obstacle to an early
fulfillment of Ezekiel 38-39. It appears from a study of
the modern equivalents to the Biblical names mentioned there
that Turkey has to be among the Islamic forces invading Israel.
Lately there's been a major shift in Turkish
politics in what could be a dramatic step toward the fulfillment
of Ezekiel 38.
stalling for years, the EU has put Turkey's application for
membership on the back burner and as of now a majority of EU
ministers oppose Turkey's admission to the Union.
Perhaps as a result of this Turkey has
begun to look to the East, and current Prime Minister Erdogan is fast becoming
a regional Muslim leader by criticizing Israel—particularly
after the Gaza war.
His clout is spreading from the streets of Gaza to Beirut,
Damascus, and Cairo—the traditional strongholds of Arab
US President Obama understands Turkey’s
Before his presidency was 100 days old, He selected
Turkey to host his first visit to a majority Muslim nation in an
effort to keep them in the western fold.
The Turkish military has also been a
powerful force in maintaining the country's western leaning
the past it has unilaterally dissolved national governments for
becoming too religious, and has outlawed several religiously
oriented political parties.
But according to the Associated Press, Turkish police
arrested 52 current and former military commanders last week for
their part in “allegedly planning to blow up mosques in order to
trigger a military takeover and overthrow the Islamic-oriented
government” in 2003.
It appears the balance of power has shifted.
PM Erdogan is by far the country's most
popular political leader enjoying wide support among the Turkish
people, due in part to his frequent criticism of Israel.
Having played a major role in healing the rift between
Saudi Arabia and Syria, and forming strategic alliances with
Russia, Syria, and Iran, he's
gaining regional popularity as well.
He single handedly brought Syria out of Arab isolation,
helped facilitate the long delayed formation of the new Lebanese
government, and has brokered trade agreements with Russia that
exceeded $38 billion in 2008 and have a five year target of $100
Recently Erdogan offered to come to Iran's assistance
should there be any attempt to destroy Iran's nuclear
He's become convinced that instead of
relying on outside powers to bring peace to the Middle East the
Ottoman Empire should be re-born to take the lead.
He's recently been quoted as saying, “Turkey’s goal is to
live in peace with all countries and restore the might of the
The Man With No Name
If he can make that happen it would send
students of prophecy scurrying back into their Bibles to see if
the re-birth of the Ottoman Empire could become the fulfillment
of the so-called revived Roman Empire.
There are already some who believe the 7th
Kingdom of Rev. 18:10 is the Ottoman Empire, and point
out that Constantinople is also a city on seven hills. If so,
its loyalty to Islam would confirm the identity of the one world
End Times religion, and could also support the idea of an
Islamic anti-Christ, the one some call al-Mahdi. As details of
Islamic eschatology become more widely known, prophecy students
are discovering a striking similarity between descriptions of al-Mahdi and the anti-Christ. I've made mention of these in
previous articles, how both come on the scene during a time of
great turmoil on Earth, both come claiming a desire to restore
peace, both have a seven year reign, both head a one world
religion and one world government, both claim supernatural
origins, and both reigns end in a battle between good and evil
that brings Earth's final judgment.
Could they be one and the same?
The legend surrounding al-Mahdi as being in occlusion
(supernaturally hidden) since the 10th century could
make him the 8th king who belongs to the seven, just
like Rev. 18:11 says.
As you can see we might have an
interesting circumstantial case here for a revived Ottoman
something to build doctrine on, but it certainly bears watching.
One nice thing about our times is we won't have long to
wait before we find out how these prophecies are fulfilled. You
can almost hear the footsteps of the Messiah.