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.
Where are they located? The majority of Turks live in their home country, but significant numbers live elsewhere. There are many who live in European countries including a small number in tiny Liechtenstein. Turks are much more likely to live in other German speaking countries, namely Germany or Switzerland. Turks are the fifth-largest foreign population in Liechtenstein, and the largest Muslim one. However, their numbers are still very small in that country.
What are their lives like? The typical Turk in Europe lives a secularized, modern urban life, with all the materialistic advantages and temptations that go with it. Turks in Liechtenstein are there mainly to earn a good living.
Relaxation is of the utmost 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 national pride and love for their country. These issues are now coming to a head as Turkey’s government is trying to identify more with their past accomplishments (The Ottoman Empire), and Islam.
Europeans like those in Liechtenstein either welcome Turks as cheap labor or resent them as people whom they regard as invaders who come to take their jobs and their way of life.
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. 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 are extremists, but the militant form of Islam it is generally not approved by the Turkish majority. They 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 in Europe 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 Liechtentstein 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.