Introduction / History Each Turkmen tribe has its own individual history of when they migrated to the Middle East. Some tribes arrived at the time of Genghis Khan. Others arrived later during the Ottoman Empire. During the 1920 after the breakup of the Ottoman Empire Turkey enacted language reforms in which they changed their alphabet from a modified Arabic script to a Latin alphabet. In addition to changing the letters they also removed much of the Arabic and Persian borrow words that previously existed. As a result of this change, the Turkish spoken in Turkey became much different than that of that which is spoken by other neighboring Turkic dialects.
Where are they located? There are Turkmen populations located throughout the Middle East, and even some in North Africa. Some Turkmen self-identify as Turks, whereas others identify as Turkmen.
What are their lives like? The lives can be quite different based on how integrated they are into their society. In Syria, there are both Sunni Turkmen that live and even marry into Arab families. They blend in and are generally able to find work without much difficulty. However, Alawite Turkmen are often mistaken as Gypsies or Dom - they do not blend in and as a result they have a hard time getting work. They are very uneasy of being around people who are from outside the tribe.
What are their beliefs? They are majority Muslim.
What are their needs? The New Testament is in draft form and is still undergoing editing to ensure that the translation can be understood by as many tribes as possible. The Jesus film has also been translated and is hopefully to be dubbed sometime in 2019. The Old Testament still has a lot of work left to go.
Prayer Points There is one evangelical Turkmen Church. It is growing very steadily. Pray for the boldness and protection of believers.