Introduction / History The Turks originated in Turan, a region that lies between the Caspian Sea and the Mongolian Desert. They arrived in Anatolia, Turkey (Asia Minor) in the 11th century as conquering warriors. By the year 1299, the Ottoman Dynasty began ruling over what would become a vast region, greater in area than the Roman Empire. Over 20 states fell under Ottoman rule, including southern Russia, Iran, Iraq, Syria, Egypt, Libya, and Saudi Arabia. This huge Muslim empire lasted until Turkey became a republic in 1923.
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, have experienced a mixture of both Eastern and Western cultures.
Where are they located? The majority of Turks live in their home country, but significant numbers live elsewhere. Several million Turks live in Germany as either guest workers or German citizens. More live in other European countries like Ireland.
What are their lives like? Though small in number, the Turks in Ireland have produced soccer players and models. At this point in time, unfortunately, they have not yet produced a follower of Christ in that country.
What are their beliefs? The Turks of Turkey 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, they believe that men have the power to curse others by giving them the "evil eye." They 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.
Memories of conflict with Christians, and a desire to join the European Union while remaining Islamic may stand as barriers to the gospel.
What are their needs? Although the Turks of Turkey have Christian resources (both the Bible and the JESUS film have been translated into Turkish) available to them in their language and mission agencies have worked among them, they remain strongly Muslim. Prayer alone has the power to break through the strongholds of Islam. Intercessors are needed to daily stand in the gap and pray for the salvation of these precious people.
Prayer Points * Pray that many Turks living in Ireland will be reached with the gospel and will take it back to Turkey.
* Pray that the JESUS Film will find its way into many Turkish homes in Ireland.
* Pray that churches and mission organizations will accept the challenge of adopting and reaching the Turks in Ireland.
* Pray for the Holy Spirit to birth a cascading discipleship movement among the Turks in Europe for God's glory.