Introduction / History Turkey is considered to be a “link” between the Orient (Chinese and Mongols) and the Occidental (Anglo-Saxons, Slavs, Goths, and Latins). The Turk, therefore, has a knowledge and mixture of both Eastern and Western cultures. The Turks represent a great opportunity to create a “fulcrum” church movement that could reach many other Muslim people groups, especially since their language is similar to many unreached people groups throughout Central Asia. South Koreans also have potential to reach the Muslim peoples of Turkish Central Asia, and they can do that now by reaching the Turks in their own country!
Where are they located? Most Turks live in Turkey, but they have a diaspora in dozens of countries. They are especially numerous in Germany, for example. There is a small Turkish population in South Korea, mainly in the capital city of Seoul.
What are their lives like? Relaxation is of much importance to the Turk. Coffee houses are places where men meet to visit and talk politics or business. In general, the Turks are courteous, gentle people who readily show hospitality to strangers. They are also very patriotic and have a deep sense of nationalistic pride and love for their country.
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, some believe that men have the power to curse others by giving them the “evil eye.” Such people 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. They also believe that if a woman puts fish oil around a door and a man walks through it, he will love her for the rest of his life.
Judaism and Christianity and their prophets are generally respected by Turks. There might be extremists, but the militant form of Islam it is generally not approved by the Turkish majority. Turks are more likely to blame militancy on the Arabs, whom they consider to be from a lower culture than their own.
What are their needs? There are negative attributes of modern urban life such as drunkenness, drug use, and prostitution. Such an atmosphere can lead to an identity crises among Muslim Turks that could lead them to despair, to fundamentalist Islam, or to Christ’s answers.
Prayer Points * Pray for the Holy Spirit to give the Turks in South Korea teachable and understanding hearts.
* Pray that a strong movement of the Holy Spirit will bring entire Turkish families into a rich experience of God’s blessing.
* Pray for Turkish families to be drawn by the Holy Spirit to seek forgiveness, and to understand the adequacy of Christ’s work on the cross.
* Pray for teams of believers to do sustained, focused prayer for the Lord to open the hearts of Turkish family leaders to experience God’s blessing through a movement of family-based discovery Bible studies.