Togarmah is another country aligned with Russia. He was a son of Gomer, son of Japheth (Genesis 10:1-3), known in Assyrian records as Tilgarimmu, a city state in Eastern Anatolia (Asia Minor, modern Turkey), more specifically “the south-eastern part of Turkey near the Syrian border.” This identification is generally acknowledged by all. Once again, we have a region in present-day Turkey.
The Bible confirms Togarmah's location in Ezekiel 38:6: “Beth-Togarmah from the uttermost parts of the north with all its troops.” The word Beth at the beginning of the word is the Hebrew word for “house.” It means “house or place of Togarmah.” In Ezekiel 38:6: “the house of Togarmah, and all its hordes” are specifically pointed out as being from the north. Therefore we know it is directly north of Israel. Some of the sons of Togarmah can be traced to the Turkoman tribes of Central Asia. Gesenius says: “they are a northern nation and country sprung from Gomer abounding in horses and mules.” He also said that some of the sons of Togarmah founded Armenia, according to their own claim today.
Rimmer had no doubts that Togarmah is ancient Armenia (most of which is in Turkey today - see page 14) and cited certain Assyrian chronicles as well as Tacitus in support of his view. He said that the title the House of Togarmah is a common description for Armenia in Armenian literature. Josephus identified Togarmah as Phrygians, located in Asia Minor(Turkey). In 700 BC some Phrygians moved to Armenia. So Togmarah existed in the geographical region of Turkey and Armenia today, as well as perhaps other Turkic speaking peoples who spread into other countries across central Asia.
All agree to identify Togarmah with Armenia and Turkey. This fits Ezekiel, for Turkey is directly north of Israel. There’s a possible etymological connection between the names Togarmah and Turkey and Turkestan. In Ezekiel's time, there was a city in Cappodocia (Turkey) known as Tegarma, Tagarma, Til-garimmu, and Takarama.
It's significant that 4 of the ancient locations Ezekiel gives are found today in the nation of Turkey. Clearly God is emphasising Turkey's important part in the end-time coalition. Turkey today is not as hard-core Muslim as some of the other nations in Ezekiel's list, but they are an Islamic nation. And according to God's Word they will be a part of this end-time coalition.
TURKEY is the only nation in the world with land on two continents: Europe and Asia. The nation's geography is a mirror of its political and military position as well. It is being pulled both ways. Turkey covets recognition by the West - even to the point of desiring inclusion in the European Union. Turkey as part of NATO regularly cooperates with the United States in military operations in the region. But Turkey is still a Muslim nation. The Turkish government pays the salaries of 60,000 imams and dictates the contents of their sermons, often down to the last word.
With the decline of the Byzantine Empire in the 14th century, Turkish tribes in Anatolia established the Ottoman Empire, which lasted until after World War I, when the modern state of Turkey was formed. In the years following World War I, Kemal Ataturk aggressively transformed Turkey from a theocratic autocracy into a Western-oriented democracy. In 1922 he abolished the Sultanate. In 1924 he abolished the Caliphate and religious courts. In 1925 he made it illegal to wear the fez (a symbol of backwardness). Having rid Turkey of the trappings of Islam, he adopted Western ways. In 1925 Turkey adopted the Western calendar; in 1926 the Swiss civil code and Italian penal code; in 1928 they switched to the Latin alphabet; in 1931 the metric system; in 1934 all Turks were obliged to take a surname, and women were given the vote. After World War 2 Turkey joined all the main Western institutions: the UN, IMF, OECD, Council of Europe and NATO. Turkey received associate membership in the EU in 1963. A crisis began to loom as Turkey applied for full membership in 1987. Although full membership was held out as an eventual goal, it began to become clear that Turkey was not being welcomed by the EU.
Turkey's rejection has understandably clouded its course and strategy. Turkey is still viewed by many as a Middle Eastern nation with no place in Europe. This is an affront to the Turkish people who have, for many years, rejected much of their own past in favour of becoming members of the West. While full membership negotiations continue (since 2005) their future as part of the EU is still very much in doubt.
Moreover, up to quite recently, Turkey has been an ally of Israel, trading the use of air bases while the generals signed military assistance pacts with Israel. The generals have also made sure that Turkey remains a strictly secular state according to its constitution. But their power in Turkey is now waning. Islam has again become a rising influence in Turkey, particularly through the Directorate of Religious Affairs, which is attached to the Prime Ministry and has substantial resources (including 90,000 civil service personnel) under its control. The Directorate supplies imam (mosque prayer leaders) to every village or town; it writes the sermons the imam must preach; it organises the pilgrimages to Mecca; it provides commentaries on religious themes and publishes the Koran and other works; it pronounces judgements on religious questions and monitors mosque building; and it provides teachers and advisors to Turkish citizens living abroad and helps oversee official religious ties with other countries. The secondary education system, the Ankara University faculty, the police force, and the media are all becoming increasingly Muslim controlled. In each succeeding election, conservative Islamic elements seem to be gaining more power.
Turkey has been integrated with the West through membership of organizations such as the Council of Europe, NATO, OECD, OSCE and G-20. But she has also fostered close cultural, political, economic and industrial relations with the Eastern world, particularly with the Middle East and the Turkic states of Central Asia, through membership in organizations such as the Organisation of the Islamic Conference and Economic Cooperation Organization. Since Turkey is linked to Central Asia both ethnically and linguistically, it has a natural relationship to these nations, and since the breakup of the former Soviet Union she has been able to
strengthen her relationship with them greatly . 4 of the 5 former Soviet Central Asian republics are Turkic speaking (Tajikistan is the exception, with a Persian dialect). This is an example of the alliances forged between the nations listed in Ezekiel 38.
There has been a recent rise of political Islam. The current PM, Erdogan, has twice been elected Prime Minister since 2002, and his conservative (Islamic) AKP party won 47% of the votes in the 2007 elections. Since gaining power they have gradually been moving Turkey away from the west and towards the east, partly because of the Party’s Islamic roots and partly because of the EU’s rejection of Turkey. If this continues, Turkey will pursue its destiny more towards Eurasia and the Islamic Middle East. If she moves away from the West she will come under Russian influence, who covets Turkey as it is strategic, giving Russia control of the vital ports on the Mediterranean and the ability to outflank much of Europe. The Turkish empire was the seat of the Islamic Caliphate (only abolished in 1923). Today the Islamic world awaits its restoration. This all sets the stage for the events of Ezekiel 38!
The other Russian allies of Ezekiel 38 are already in position. The watershed player is Turkey, which until recently, has not been in position for this Prophecy to be fulfilled because of its alliances with the West and Israel. However, the Flotilla Incident in 2010, when boats from Turkey tried to break the Israeli blockade of Gaza, resulting in the loss of life, has revealed the growing anti-Israel mood in Turkey. Relations with Israel are largely broken and Erdogan is enjoying popularity in the Islamic world for posturing as a strong leader against Israel. In his response, he has moved Turkey further away from the West, towards the East. He is also strengthening ties with Russia. Now it is not hard to see Turkey joining with all the other Islamic nations in their disastrous invasion of the Land of Israel.
All the pieces have now come into place for Ezekiel 38 to be fulfilled! Turkey will join this end-time Islamic Coalition! It is no coincidence that the Muslim nation of Turkey, that has turned against Israel, stands right between Russia and the Israel, for this massive invasion from the far North must both go through and involve Turkey.