Introduction / History The Turkish Cypriot live on the northern section of the Island of Cyprus, an island located in the Mediterranean Sea, just south of Turkey. As the descendants of Turkish Ottoman invaders who conquered Cyprus in the 16th century, the Turkish Cypriot proudly maintain Turkish customs, traditions, and language (Turkish). Today, the Turkish Cypriot make up about one-fifth of the island's total population. Various estimates point out that at least half of the Turks in Northern Cyprus are settlers from Turkey who emigrated in the last 30 or 40 years.
The Greeks, who inhabit the remainder of the Island, have been enemies of the Turks since the Ottoman invasion. Cyprus became an independent republic in 1960, a move that was supposed to end warfare between the Greeks and the Turks. However, the bitterness continued, and when war erupted again in 1963, the Greeks won economic control of the Island. Turkey invaded in 1974 and took control of the northern third of the island. Today, a border separates the two peoples, whose animosity has never allowed them to come to terms with one another. Some have moved to less stressful places like the US.
Where are they located? The Muslim Turkish Cypriots in the US are are greatly outnumbered by those of Greek descent. They live in New York, New Jersey, California, Maryland, Virginia, Florida, and Texas.
What are their lives like? It is common for Turkish Cypriots to consume alcohol, a practice banned in Islam. They seldom have their own Islamic schools, and weddings are usually civil, not religious.
What are their beliefs? Turkish Cypriot are Sunni Muslims, but they are more secular than most.
What are their needs? The Turkish Cypriots in the US need to have the chance to respond to Jesus' plea to come to him. They do not have that chance when they are in Cyprus living among Muslims.
Prayer Points * Ask God to strengthen, encourage, and protect the small number of Turkish Cypriots who follow Christ.
* Ask the Lord of the harvest to send forth laborers to live and work among the Turkish Cypriots in the US.
* Pray for effectiveness of the JESUS Film among the Turkish Cypriots in the US.
* Ask the Lord to bring forth a triumphant Turkish Cypriot church for the glory of His name!