Introduction / History
The Turks originated in Turan, a region that lies between the Caspian Sea and the Mongolian Desert. They arrived in Anatolia, Turkey (Asia Minor) in the eleventh century as conquering warriors. By the year 1299, the Ottoman Dynasty began ruling over what would become a vast empire, greater in area than the Roman Empire. Over 20 states fell under Ottoman rule, including southern Russia, Iran, Iraq, Syria, Egypt, Libya, and Saudi Arabia. This huge empire lasted until Turkey became a republic in 1923. It was the last Muslim based empire, and Islamic fundamentalists today lament its downfall.
After the Ottoman Empire collapsed, modern Turkey has become a secular, developed nation that sits, literally and symbolically, between the Christian West and the Muslim world. Turkey is a "link" between Asia and Europe. The Turks have a knowledge and mixture of both Eastern and Western cultures. What could be a better place to see Turks reached for Christ than Singapore, an influential city in East Asia?
Where are they located?
There is a Turkish diaspora, but Turks are much more likely to live in Europe or Central Asia than Singapore. The population of Turks in Singapore is small.
What are their lives like?
Turks are much more personable and hospitable than the general population in Singapore. For this reason, the people of Singapore enjoy being with Turks.
Singapore has a very business-friendly atmosphere, so people come from all over the world to conduct business, and Turks are no exception. Turks in Singapore tend to hold professional jobs. They are among the middle class.
What are their beliefs?
The Turks are predominantly nominally Sunni Muslim, believing in one god (Allah), and an eternal heaven and hell. However, they also have many ethnic beliefs as well. For example, they believe that men have the power to curse others by giving them the "evil eye." They believe that one is protected against such a curse by wearing blue beads, which the evil eye cannot face. Another way to avoid this cursing glare is to spit in a fire and pray to Allah.
What are their needs?
Although the Turks have Christian resources (both the Bible and the JESUS Film have been translated into Turkish) available to them in their language, they remain strongly Muslim. Prayer alone has the power to break through the strongholds of Islam. Intercessors are needed to daily stand in the gap and pray for the salvation of these precious people in Singapore as well as in Turkey. There are strong believers in Singapore who can go to them with the gospel.
* Pray that churches and mission organizations will accept the challenge of adopting and reaching the Turks in Singapore.
* Ask God to give Turkish believers boldness to share the gospel with Turks around the world.
* Pray that God will grant wisdom and favor to mission agencies focusing on the unreached people groups like the Turks in Singapore.
* Pray that many Turks living abroad will be reached with the gospel and will take it back to Turkey.
Text source: Keith Carey