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Turk, Meskhetian in Ukraine

Turk, Meskhetian

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Population [2] Language Religion % Christian % Evangl Online NT Jesus Film Progress
3,600 Ukrainian Islam 0.00 % 0.00 %   

Turk, Meskhetian in Ukraine

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Introduction / History
The Meskhetian Turks in Ukraine are a Muslim people originally form the western edge of Georgia (Meskhetia) and were exiled to Uzbekistan by Stalin in 1944. In 1991 they faced ethnic conflict and so dispersed to various different parts of the former Soviet Union. Currently, they are scattered across Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Azerbaijan, Turkey, Georgia, Russia and Ukraine. Some have also ended up in America in light of further ethnic conflict in Russia. Their culture, heritage and language are important to them although they have also made a home for themselves in Ukraine.

Where are they located?
The Meskhetian Turks live in the oblasts of Donetsk, Kherson and Mikolaiv, which are located in the South and East of Ukraine. Most of them moved here from Uzbekistan about 20 years ago (although some came later from Russia). A few have also come intermittently since that time. Most of the Meskhetian Turks live in rural villages as farmers with a few from the younger generation who have gone to nearby cities to pursue further education.

What are their lives like?
The lives of most Meskhetian Turks are tied to the land. They often farm the land and sell their vegetables in nearby centers while others are involved in cattle farming. This is a continuation of their traditional way of life which was preserved in their time in Uzbekistan, although their language and cuisine has been influenced by their time in the former Soviet Union. Community and family are very important and weddings (which are usually in the fall) and other special occasions are opportunities for the community to gather and celebrate. Women tend to be at home or work near the home and are responsible for the children. It is still important for women to cover their heads and wear long clothing, although this is observed with various degrees strictness. In contrast to surrounding Ukrainians, they have larger families (often 3 or more children). However, generally they have good relationships with their Ukrainian neighbors.

What are their beliefs?
They are Sunni Muslims with a reasonable level of observance in their communities, having retained their religion through turmoil but also having been influenced by secularism of the former Soviet Union. Most men attend mosque every Friday and all are observant of major Muslim holidays. The mosque also acts as a cultural center in which people can meet and discuss issues. In addition, because of their troubled history, peace and the basic needs of life are very important to them. Some feel a strong connection to Turkey as their homeland and many have immigrated there, while others feel that Ukraine has now become their homeland.

Prayer Points
* Pray for openness to the gospel and outsiders.
* Pray that they would see that following Christ does not conflict with their ethnic identity.
* Pray for wisdom in getting the Scripture into their hands in their own language.
* Pray that TESL would be effectively used to point people toward Christ.

"Meskhetian Turks," Cultural Profile No. 20, 2006, Center for Applied Linguistics

Notes: Their primarily language is Turkish, not Ukrainian. Turkish is still spoken in the home and although older children are completely bilingual, most small children go to school without knowing Ukrainian. It has yet to be observed how deeply their Turkish has been influenced by living in Uzbekistan and other places in the former Soviet Union. Moreover, the Meskhetian Turks were removed from proximity with Turkey more than sixty years ago and so how widely Meskhetian Turkish diverges from current standard Turkish has yet to be observed. Also, their population in Ukraine is probably greater than 10,000, although it is difficult to know exactly.

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Prayer Links
Global Prayer Digest: 2015-03-23
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Country: Ukraine
Continent: Europe
Region: Europe, Eastern and Eurasia
10/40 Window: No
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Country Map:Political map
Linguistic Map:Ethnologue language map
  Peoples [3]
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People Name in Country: Turk, Meskhetian
People Name General: Turk, Meskhetian
ROP3 Code: 115687
Joshua Project People ID: 20631
Indigenous: No
Population in Country: 3,600
Population all Countries: 270,000
Least-Reached: Yes
Affinity Bloc: Turkic Peoples
People Cluster: Turkish
People Name General: Turk, Meskhetian
Ethnic Code: MSY41j
Ethnic Relationships: Affinity Bloc -> People Cluster -> Peoples Ethnicity Tree
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Primary Language: Ukrainian (3,600 Speakers)
Language Code (ISO): ukr    Ethnologue Listing
Total Languages: 1
Religion [4]
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Primary Religion: Islam
Major Religions:
Buddhism0.00 % 
Christianity0.00 %(Evangelical: 0.00 %)
Ethnic Religions0.00 % 
Hinduism0.00 % 
Islam100.00 % 
Non-Religious0.00 % 
Other / Small0.00 % 
Unknown0.00 % 
Christianity Segments:
Anglican0.00 %
Independent0.00 %
Protestant0.00 %
Orthodox0.00 %
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
Bible Translation Status
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Bible Portions: 1869-2016
New Testament:
Complete Bible: 1903-2011
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 RecordingsStory of Jesus audio (Jesus Film Project ...
Film / VideoGod's Story Video
Film / VideoJesus Film: view in Ukrainian
Film / VideoMagdalena (Jesus Film Project)
Film / VideoMy Last Day (Jesus Film Project Anime)
Film / VideoStory of Jesus for Children (JF Project)
Film / VideoThe Hope Video
GeneralFour Spiritual Laws
GeneralGod's Simple Plan
GeneralGot Questions Ministry
Text / Printed MatterBible Gateway Scripture
Text / Printed MatterBible: Біблія в пер. Іван ...
Text / Printed MatterBible: Біблія в пер. П.Кул ...
Text / Printed MatterBible: Новітній переклад ...
Text / Printed MatterBible: Свята Біблія [Нови ...
Text / Printed MatterBibles, Bible League
Text / Printed MatterFather's Love Letter
Text / Printed MatterOneHope resources for children and youth
Text / Printed MatterWorld Missionary Press Booklets
Ministry Activity
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Data Notes
Data Sources

Turk, Meskhetian in Ukraine

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

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