I visited Turkey a number of years ago. My family and I spent a few days in Istanbul. We hired Rashid Ergener to be our tour guide. He understands economics, and religion, and studies the intersection of it.
Winston Churchill almost lost his career over Turkey and the Dardanelles. Gallipoli in WW1 was a masscre.
The Apostle Paul traveled extensively in Turkey. Turkey was a strategic place that helped spread Christianity across the world.
When I went, my friend, Jack B told me to spit on the ground for him. He’s Armenian. The Turks murdered his family. The Turks massacred the Armenians in the early 1900s. Throughout history, they have bullied and murdered the Greeks as well.
On Christmas Day when we were there, Rashid took us to Chora Church. It was incredibly meaningful to me. The reason was the mosaics showing the story of Christ in the ceiling. In the 11th century, when the church was built, no one really could read. Here I was in 2017 looking at the same mosaics some jamoke looked at eons ago on the same day experiencing the Christmas story.
There are iron laws of economics. There are principles of religion but they can change. When you violate the iron laws of economics, bad things most certainly will happen. If you violate the principles of religion, you might feel bad but most religions have a path to forgiveness so you can redeem yourself.
When it comes to Turkey, religious history is important to understand so you can help yourself analyze all the undercurrents. As Rashid will tell you, in Turkey they are intertwined.
Turkey is run by a madman, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. Like a Chicago Democratic Machine politician, he is consumed with one thing, power. He was first elected in 2014.
Turkey has been secular since 1922. People got along. Rashid took us to one part of the city where on the same block there was a mosque, a Jewish temple, and a Christian church. Erdogan is changing that and enabling Muslim fundamentalists.
If you know Turkish history, you would know that it has a long history of excess. Geographically, Turkey occupies one of the most strategic places on the globe for both the military and economically. It has one foot in Asia, and one in Europe. The Bosporus allows maritime connections from the Black Sea all the way to the Mediterranean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean via Gibraltar, and the Indian Ocean through the Suez Canal, making it a crucial international waterway, in particular for the passage of goods coming in from Russia.
Originally, Constantinople was the seat of Christian power in the world. The Hagia Sophia was the seat of that power. Rashid told me he thought it might be the best building ever built by man in the world, and it is one of the most important ones. It was built in 527 AD. It truly is an amazing structure.
What happens in Turkey matters to everyone. An unstable Turkey will lead to an unstable globe. One of my friends who watches this closely said, “if only the world understood the history of Byzantium, then they could better comprehend the evolution of Christianity, Europe, how it led colonialism through the Latin church's influence (Byzantium being the other half of the Roman empire, the Greek Eastern) and how this influences Putin today and the Ukrainian situation. For example, the Patriarch of Constantinople, granted autocephaly to the Ukrainian church a year ago... that really pissed of the Russian Orthodox Patriarch and separated Ukraine from Russia. As soon as I saw that, I knew that was more political than theological, and in support of the USA. But that is only understood if one knew of the historical rivalries between Constantinople and Russia, and Putin is trying to exploit that. However the Patriarch in Constantinople governs all Greek Orthodox in North and South America from Constantinople, just like the Pope in Rome governs all Latin right Christians. Putin understands, Americans have no idea... Putin is playing a deep chess game while Americans are sleeping.”
What Erdogan is intentionally doing to the Turkish Lira will create all kinds of instability for his people. He has lowered interest rates three times since September. It’s one of the reasons I think the US Federal Reserve blew it on inflation. The good news is the Fed is supposed to be independent of the President and government. We will see. I am not a huge fan of Chairman Powell, but he’s better than Yellen who was a disaster.
Erdogan of course has control of the media. They will parrot whatever he wants. Just like the left-wing Pravda mainstream media in the United States.
Turkey is not a huge economic power. If it fails, it will be a blip. The issue is all the instability that could result. Totalitarians love instability.
It will help Putin exert tighter control. Instability will make Erdogan even more unpredictable. Again, strategically, this is an important region.
When I saw Turkey’s real inflation rate, I was happy that the US dodged a bullet today. Build Back Better, along with lots of other policies being proposed by the radical Democratic Socialist Party in the US are inflationary. They also take away freedom.
Remember, inside every Democrat is a totalitarian dying to get out. Don’t believe me? Read what they are proposing in left wing NY State. Quarantine camps anyone? I remember when we called them concentration camps or gulags.