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Turk in Uzbekistan


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Turk in Uzbekistan map
Population [2] Language Religion % Christian % Evangl Online NT Jesus Film Progress
140,000 Turkish Islam 0.00 % 0.00 %   

Turk in Uzbekistan

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Introduction / History
The homeland of the Meskhetian Turks, known as Meskheti, lies along the borders of Georgia and Turkey. During the rule of the Ottoman Empire (1299-1922), Turkish settlers moved into Meskheti as part of Turkey's expansion. The resulting mix of Turkish and Meskheti populations became known as the Meskhetian Turks. The Russians call them the Meskhetian Turki, or "Turks from Turkey," rather than using the more generic term for Turk.

In 1944, Stalin forcibly moved the Meskhetian Turks from their traditional Georgian homeland to southeastern Uzbekistan. Although they long to resettle in Georgia, the Georgian government refuses to allow them to return unless they replace their Turkish family names with Georgian ones and acknowledge themselves as Georgians. However, most still insist on retaining their Turkish national identity while continuing their efforts to return to Georgia.

What are their lives like?
The deportation of Meskhetian Turks to Uzbekistan strengthened their ethnic awareness and produced strong internal leadership. The leaders' goals are to resettle in Georgia while still maintaining the people's ethnic identity and preserving their traditional culture.

Before the 1944 deportation, Meskhetian Turks lived in rural villages. They were skilled farmers who developed sophisticated agricultural techniques, including the use of wood and ceramic conduits for crop irrigation. They raised cattle and crops, then sold their fruits, vegetables, wool, meat, and dairy products at the local Georgian markets. Most of their agricultural practices, along with distinctive architecture and other cultural aspects were lost in the move to Uzbekistan. Today, festival costumes, headgear, and foods are some of the few items that provide a glimpse of their traditional culture.

One special tradition still survives-the Meskhetian Turk marriage. The official matchmaking is conducted at the bride's home. There, the girl's father receives the bride price and both families celebrate the betrothal with a banquet. On the day preceding the wedding (which always takes place on a Friday), a mullah (Muslim leader) confirms the marriage in the presence of two witnesses. The wedding is a joyous community affair celebrated with colorful costumes and decorations. After the celebration, the wedding couple departs for their new home, which is built especially for them.

What are their beliefs?
All of the Meskhetian Turks are Hanafite Muslims. Although they faithfully observe the Islamic rituals, they either add to or deviate from some customs. For example, for several nights after funeral rites and a burial, a fire is lit over the grave. When a Meskhetian Turk sees a fire in the distance at night, he will begin praying for the dead.

Even though Meskhetian Turks are strong Muslims, they still hold to some of their pre-Islamic beliefs in magic and sorcery. The practice of inducing rain by magic is common, along with healing by the use of "moon water," or water that has set overnight under a clear sky.

The Meskhetian Turks also celebrate rituals and festivals connected with agriculture. For example, farmers may break eggs over the heads of their oxen before beginning the season's plowing. Spring weeding is followed by a folk festival with dancing, games, fortune telling, pantomimes, and sometimes, weddings.

What are their needs?
Meskhetian Turks believe that they were removed unjustly from their homeland. As a result, they have lost most of their cultural heritage. The need to maintain their ethnic identity can only be done by preserving their traditional culture. They need to know that their true identity can only be found in Christ.

Even though the Bible, the Jesus film, and Christian radio broadcasts are all available in the Turki language, there are no reports of even one Christian among them. The Meskhetian Turks need missionaries to work among them and show them the love of Jesus in practical ways.

Prayer Points
* Ask the Lord of the harvest to send forth laborers to live and work among the Meskhetian Turks of Uzbekistan.
* Pray that God will raise up prayer teams to break up the spiritual soil through worship and intercession.
* Ask God to anoint the Gospel as it goes forth via radio to Meskhetian Turks.
* Pray for effectiveness of the Jesus film among Meskhetian Turks.
* Ask the Holy Spirit to soften the hearts of Meskhetian Turks towards Christians so that they will be receptive to the Gospel.
* Ask the Lord to bring forth a vigorous Meskhetian Turkish church for the glory of His name!

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Prayer Links
  Submit Update:
Country: Uzbekistan
Continent: Asia
Region: Central Asia
Persecution Rank:16 (Only top 50 ranked, 1 = highest persecution ranking)
10/40 Window: Yes
Submit Map:
Country Map:Political map
Ethnolinguistic Map:University of Texas or other map
Linguistic Map:Ethnologue language map
  Peoples [3]
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People Name in Country: Turk
People Name General: Turk
Alternate People Names:
AnatolianBaharlu Turk
MasakhastianMeskhetian Turk
OsmanliOttomon Turk
Rumelian TurkUrum
ROP3 Code: 113818
Joshua Project People ID: 18274
Indigenous: No
Population in Country: 140,000
Population all Countries: 60,506,000
Least-Reached: Yes
Affinity Bloc: Turkic Peoples
People Cluster: Turkish
People Name General: Turk
Ethnic Code: MSY41j
Ethnic Relationships: Affinity Bloc -> People Cluster -> Peoples Ethnicity Tree
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Primary Language: Turkish
Language Code (ISO): tur    Ethnologue Listing
Secondary Languages:
Uzbek, Northern (Unknown)
Total Languages: 2
Religion [4]
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Primary Religion: Islam
Major Religions:
Buddhism0.00 % 
Christianity0.00 %(Evangelical: 0.00 %)
Ethnic Religions0.00 % 
Hinduism0.00 % 
Islam100.00 % 
Non-Religious0.00 % 
Other / Small0.00 % 
Unknown0.00 % 
Christianity Segments:
Anglican0.00 %
Independent0.00 %
Protestant0.00 %
Orthodox0.00 %
Other Christian0.00 %
Roman Catholic0.00 %
(Evangelicals distributed across Christianity segments)
Progress Indicators [5]
Progress Scale[6]   Few evangelicals and few who claim to be Christians. Little, if any, history of Christianity.
Least-Reached: Yes
GSEC Status:Level 1   Less than 2% Evangelical. Some evangelical resources available, but no active church planting within past 2 years
Bible Translation Status
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Bible Portions: 1782-1985
New Testament:
Complete Bible: 1827-2006
Possible Bible Sources: Forum of Bible Agencies
 World Bible Finder
 World Christian Resource Directory
 Gospel Go
Ministry Resources [7]
Audio RecordingsMegaVoice Audio Bible and Stories
Audio RecordingsAudio Bible teaching (GRN)
Audio RecordingsOnline New Testament (FCBH)
Audio RecordingsOnline New Testament (FCBH)
Audio RecordingsStory of Jesus audio (Jesus Film Project ...
Film / VideoBir Ibadet Toplantisi (
Film / VideoFather's Love Letter
Film / VideoFollowers of Isa (
Film / VideoGod's Story Video
Film / VideoJesus Film: view in Turkish
Film / VideoMagdalena (Jesus Film Project)
Film / VideoMore Than Dreams-Ali (
Film / VideoMy Last Day (Jesus Film Project Anime)
Film / VideoRivka (Jesus Film Project)
Film / VideoStory of Jesus for Children (JF Project)
Film / VideoThe Hope Video
Film / VideoThe Prophets Story (
GeneralFour Spiritual Laws
GeneralGot Questions Ministry
Text / Printed MatterBible: Turkish, Kutsal Kitap Yeni Ceviri
Text / Printed MatterWorld Missionary Press Booklets
Ministry Activity
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Data Notes
Data Sources

Turk in Uzbekistan

Global                 Global
  Affinity Bloc             Global  
People Cluster
    Turkish     Central Asia    
      Turk Uzbekistan    
            People-by-Country (Profile)          
            Turk in Uzbekistan          
      Religion Language  
      Islam     Turkish  
    All Religions                              

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