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Turk in Bulgaria


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Turk in Bulgaria map
Population [2] Language Religion % Christian % Evangl Online NT Jesus Film Progress
546,000 Turkish Islam 0.10 % 0.01 %   

Turk in Bulgaria

People Group Video [7]
Source:  The Waiting WorldWatchDownload
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Introduction / History
Rumelian Turks are descendants of the Ottoman Turks who migrated from Central Asia during the thirteenth century, conquered Anatolia (modern day Turkey), and eventually established the Ottoman Empire. At its peak, the Ottoman Empire encompassed the Balkan Mountains, Arabia, and North Africa.

The nearly five hundred years of Ottoman-Turkish dominion significantly impacted the Bulgarian language, culture, and economic development. The large Turkish minority in Bulgaria and the strained relations between the Bulgarians and the Turks-both individually and nationally-are partly the consequences of this period.

Since Bulgaria's independence in 1878, thousands of Turks have migrated back to Turkey. The remaining Turkish community has suffered growing discrimination and resentment by the Bulgarian population.

What are their lives like?
During the Communist rule in Bulgaria (from 1947 to 1989), Muslim Turks, with their "outdated" religious customs, were considered an obstacle to a modern industrialized society. From 1984 to 1989, the Communist government carried out a bitter persecution program against the Turks, forcing them to take Bulgarian names, destroying Muslim sections in cemeteries, and forbidding Islamic religious practices. Thousands were beaten, imprisoned, or killed. At the height of the persecution in 1989, an additional 350,000 Turks fled to Turkey, overwhelming that country with refugees at a time of high unemployment.

Since the collapse of Communism in 1990, Rumelian Turks have enjoyed greater freedom and the Muslim community has returned to some of its old customs. Today, the Turkish Party holds the balance of power in a parliament where Democrats and Socialists (ex-Communist Party) fight for influence.

The end of the Soviet Union (formerly Bulgaria's main trading partner) and the trade embargo against Iraq have profoundly affected the export-oriented agricultural business, which is where most of the Rumelian Turk now work.

Historically, the Turk settled in towns and served as military personnel or administrators, or worked as craftsmen. Because of religious, linguistic, and social differences, Turks have not often intermarried with the local Bulgarians. When they do intermarry, Turkish men usually marry Muslim, non-Turkish women. The Turks favor dishes made with lamb and vegetables. They also enjoy milk products such as yogurt and cheeses, as well as strong Turkish coffee.

What are their beliefs?
Most Rumelian Turks in Bulgaria are Hanafite Muslim, even though the Communists closed most of their mosques and converted them into schools, libraries, museums, and government buildings. Today, the mosques are being restored and rebuilt. Financial support from Turkey and Saudi Arabia has enabled Rumelian Turks to build Islamic schools and finance the training of Muslim teachers. Although Muslim missionaries from Turkey and Iran are endeavoring to make Rumelian Turks stronger Muslims, many Turks consider themselves secularists or atheists because they are frustrated with Islamic fundamentalism, corruption, and hypocrisy.

What are their needs?
The Communist government trampled on the culture and traditions of Rumelian Turks, denied their existence, and prohibited their religious practices, all of which made the Turks treasure their Turkish language and culture even more. Most Turks are bitter also against what they see as Christian attempts to make them forsake Islam by force. An obvious sign of concern and love would be for Christians to learn their language and communicate God's Truth with it.

Although the Bible is available in the Turkish language, a high illiteracy rate (especially among women) hinders the opportunity to reach the Turk with the Scriptures. Perhaps Christian teachers will have the greatest opportunity to minister the love of Jesus to these hurting people.

Prayer Points
* Pray that God will raise up prayer teams who will begin breaking up the spiritual soil of Bulgaria through worship and intercession.
* Ask God to grant wisdom and favor to missions agencies focusing on Rumelian Turks.
* Pray for effectiveness of the Jesus film among Rumelian Turks.
* Ask God to anoint the Gospel as it goes forth via radio to these hurting people.
* Ask the Holy Spirit to soften the hearts of Rumelian Turks towards Christians so they will be receptive to the Gospel.
* Ask the Lord to bring forth a vigorous Rumelian Turkish Christian presence in Bulgaria for the glory of His name!

View Turk in all countries.

Prayer Links
Global Prayer Digest: 2007-02-20
Global Prayer Digest: 2012-03-23
Turks profile for Children and Family Missions Activities
Prayer Links
The Waiting World - The Turk
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Country: Bulgaria
Continent: Europe
Region: Europe, Eastern and Eurasia
10/40 Window: No
Location in Country:Burgas province: Kameno, east Sredets, Sozopol, Malko Tarnovo, and Tsarevo municipalities; Khaskovo and Kurdzhali provincesSmolyan province: Madan, Banite, and Nedelino municipalities; also in Stara Zagora and Yambol provinces, small border areas.
(Source: Ethnologue 2016)
  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: Yes
Population in Country: 546,000
Population all Countries: 63,833,000
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
Primary Dialect:Danubian
Dialect Code:17816
Total Languages: 1
Religion [4]
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Primary Religion: Islam
Religion Sub-division:Sunni
Major Religions:
Buddhism0.00 % 
Christianity0.10 %(Evangelical: 0.01 %)
Ethnic Religions0.00 % 
Hinduism0.00 % 
Islam96.00 % 
Non-Religious3.90 % 
Other / Small0.00 % 
Unknown0.00 % 
Christianity Segments:
Anglican0.00 %
Independent0.30 %
Protestant0.30 %
Orthodox99.40 %
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 2   Less than 2% Evangelical. Initial (localized) church planting within past 2 years
Bible Translation Status
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Bible Portions: 1782-1985
New Testament:
Complete Bible: 1827-2008
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 / VideoFather's Love Letter
Film / VideoGod's Love Story
Film / VideoGod's Story Video
Film / Video / Animation
Film / VideoJesus Film: view in Turkish
Film / VideoLUMO film of Gospels
Film / VideoMagdalena (Jesus Film Project)
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
Film / VideoThe Prophets' Story
Film / VideoThe Savior 2 - Jesus' Baptism
Film / VideoThe Savior 8 - Jesus is Risen
GeneralFour Spiritual Laws
GeneralGot Questions Ministry
GeneralWalk with the Prophets and meet the Mess ...
Mobile AppDownload audio Bible app as APK file fro ...
Mobile AppDownload audio Bible app from Google Pla ...
Text / Printed MatterBible: Comic Book Version (SuperBible)
Text / Printed MatterBible: Turkish, Kutsal Kitap Yeni Ceviri
Text / Printed MatterJesus Messiah comic book
Text / Printed MatterOnline Bible text (Scripture Earth)
Text / Printed MatterThe Ancient Path (Turkish)
Text / Printed MatterWorld Missionary Press Booklets
Ministry Activity
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Description: Register your ministry activity among this people group. Contact the Adopt-A-People Clearinghouse and Unleashed for the Unreached to learn about others that might be focused on this people group.
Data Notes
Data Sources

Turk in Bulgaria

Global                 Global
  Affinity Bloc             Global  
People Cluster
    Turkish     Europe, Eastern and Eurasia    
      Turk Bulgaria    
            People-by-Country (Profile)          
            Turk in Bulgaria          
      Religion Language  
      Islam     Turkish  
    All Religions                              

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