Introduction / History
The Yoruks have traditionally been semi-nomadic shepherds. For hundreds of years, at the beginning of every summer the Yoruks made the long trek from the hot coastal plains of Turkey to summer in the cool prairies and grassy highlands of the western Toros Mountains. Today they have largely become settled, though there are still nomads among them. The Yoruks are made up of a large number of patrilineal tribes, which are often subdivided into clans. The Yoruk people have retained their skill in weaving wool into colorful clothing. Their language is considered to be a Turkish dialect.
Where are they located?
Most of the Balkan Gagauz Yoruks live in Turkey, but some have migrated to Bulgaria or Macedonia.
What are their lives like?
Shepherds and farmers have times where they must move quickly to bring in a harvest, but they also have much free time after they have put things in place. These are people who are set in traditional ways, but they enjoy good conversation and food. Those who live as nomads must rent grasslands for often high fees from people who consider them to be a nuisance. Those who are settled have a much better chance of having access to modern amenities like running water and the Internet.
What are their beliefs?
Their religion has deep shamanistic roots, though they are officially Sunni or Alevi Muslims.
What are their needs?
Balkan Gagauz Yoruks need skills that will help them adjust to the new challenges of the 21st century. Believers with the right job skills can teach them computer repair skills, etc. so they will be more employable in the years to come.
* Pray for the Holy Spirit to grant the Balkan Gagauz Yoruk people spiritual hunger leading to salvation and positive transformation in their communities.
* Pray for these people to be in awe of the deeds and the love of Jesus Christ when they hear the good news.
* Pray for a Disciple-Making movement among the Balkan Gagauz Yoruk people in Turkey, Bulgaria and Macedonia.
Text source: Keith Carey