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 Turkish dominated Ottoman Dynasty began ruling over what would become a vast empire, greater in area than the Roman Empire. It was the last Caliphate, an Islamic political state. Today Muslim militants lament its downfall. Over 20 nation states that you can name in today's world were once under Ottoman rule.
The Ottoman Empire was a great counter-balance to British control in the Persian Gulf region in the late 1800s. While the British were establishing power in nearby Kuwait, the Ottomans send troops to Qatar to suppress a local ruler. They kept their military forces in Qatar until the Ottoman Empire collapsed, which indirectly allowed Qatar to become an independent nation even after the Turkish Ottomans left. This situation has not been forgotten, and Turkey has maintained warm relations with Qatar ever since. Turks are welcome in Qatar.
Where are they located? The vast majority of the Turks live in Turkey, but many have migrated to other parts of the world, mostly in Europe and the Middle East. A small number of them live in Qatar, an oil-rich peninsular nation that jets out into the Persian Gulf.
What are their lives like? When jobs began to dry up for Turks working in Germany during the 1970s, many began to migrate to Libya, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, and Qatar for work. The Turkish government supported their migration via Turkish construction companies. Though many of the Turks in Qatar are in the construction industry, there will be another group of Turks there as well: military personnel. Qatar is the location of a Turkish military base.
What are their beliefs? Almost all the Turks in Qatar are Sunni Muslims, though they differ somewhat from their Arab hosts. Turks tend to be more moderate in their form of Islam, and some are secular for all practical purposes. Still, Turks would consider it to be an outrage for any of their people to "convert" to Christianity.
What are their needs? Turks in Qatar are solidly Muslim, and they do not know how badly they need a savior. They believe that living a good life and following the teachings of Mohammed will be enough to gain favor of Allah on the Final Day.
Prayer Points * Pray that churches and mission organizations will accept the challenge of adopting and reaching the Turks in Qatar.
* Ask God to give the Turkish believers boldness to share the gospel with their own people no matter where they live.
* Ask the Lord to save key leaders among the Turks in Qatar who will boldly declare the gospel.
* Pray for discipleship-based Bible studies to arise among Turks in Qatar that will spread to other communities.