The small population of Rumelian Turk in Bosnia-Herzegovina are descendants of the Ottoman Turks who migrated from their central Asian homeland, conquered Anatolia (modern day Turkey), and eventually established the Ottoman Empire. At its peak, the empire encompassed the Balkan Mountains, Arabia, and North Africa.
The Rumelian Turk are also known as the Balkan Turk. (Rumelia means "land of the Romans" and refers to the Balkan Mountain region). Bosnia-Herzegovina was part of the Ottoman Empire for more than 400 years.
With the breakup of the empire after World War I, Bosnia-Herzegovina became part of Yugoslavia. When Bosnia-Herzegovina declared its independence in 1992, Bosnian Serbs began a civil war with the goal of removing all non-Serbs from Bosnian territory. This savage war cost the lives of over 200,00 Bosnians and forced thousands of Muslim families from their homes.
During the long Ottoman Empire reign, the Rumelian Turk often settled in Balkan towns and served as military personnel or administrators, or worked as craftsmen. After Yugoslavia, Greece, Albania, Bulgaria, and Romania became independent countries in the nineteenth century, many of the estimated 5.5 million Rumelian Turk who returned to Turkey were given land. Their Turkish villages are still referred to as "immigrant villages" by the local people.
Although the Ottoman Turk ruled the Balkans for centuries, they were always an ethnic minority. Religious, linguistic, and social differences kept them from intermarrying with the local populations in large numbers. When they did intermarry, Turkish men usually married Muslim, non-Turkish women. Polygamy (having more than one spouse) is prohibited by law.
Some Islamic traits have persisted longer in Bosnia-Herzegovina than in Turkey. For example, Bosnian Muslim women wore the veil until it was banned in 1950, and traditional Bosnian Muslim men still wear the fez (a typical cone-shaped hat). Both customs have been prohibited in Turkey since 1922.
Lamb, a favorite meat of the Turk, is typically prepared as a pilaf (rice and oil cooked with small bits of meat). Musaka (roasted meat and eggplant) and kapama (mutton with spinach and green onions) are also popular dishes. The Turk relish sweets and are especially fond of Turkish delight (a gummy confection usually cut in cubes and dusted with sugar). The Muslim religion forbids drinking alcoholic beverages; instead, the Turk drink large quantities of strong coffee and yogurt.
During and after the civil war, the United Nations supplied Bosnia-Herzegovina with some basic necessities, although food was limited by a UN sanctioned trade embargo.
The Communist government that was established after World War II tolerated Muslim religious observances and institutions, including Islamic schools. However, the Muslim Turk were required to follow the compulsory state educational system. During the civil war, the Bosnian Serbs not only killed hundreds of innocent civilians, but they also destroyed scores of mosques, several well-known Islamic libraries, and other Muslim institutions.
Many Rumelian Turk are bitter against what they see as "Christian" (Orthodox and Roman Catholic) attempts to make them leave their homeland. They also see the inability of the "Christian" (Protestant and Roman Catholic) countries of Western Europe to intervene for their peace and stability.
The Bible, the Jesus film, and Christian radio broadcasts are all available in Turkish. However, very few of the Rumelian Turk in Bosnia-Herzegovina are known to have become Christians. With few missions agency working among them, there is little chance they will ever hear the Good News of the Gospel.
* Ask the Lord of the harvest to send forth laborers to live and work among the Rumelian Turk of Bosnia-Herzegovina.
* Pray that God will raise up prayer teams to break up the soil through worship and intercession.
* Pray for effectiveness of the Jesus film among the Rumelian Turk.
* Ask God to anoint the Gospel as it goes forth via radio to the Rumelian Turk.
* Ask God to use the small number of Rumelian Turk Christians to share God's love with their own people.
* Ask the Holy Spirit to soften the hearts of the Rumelian Turk towards Christians so that they will be receptive to the Gospel.
* Ask the Lord to bring forth a triumphant Rumelian Turk church for the glory of His name!
|Profile Source: Bethany World Prayer Center|
|People Name General||Turk|
|People Name in Country||Turk|
|Population in Bosnia-Herzegovina||40,000|
|Progress Scale||1 ●|
|GSEC||1 (per PeopleGroups.org)|
|Alternate Names||Anatolian, Baharlu Turk, Masakhastian, Meskhetian Turk, Osmanli, Ottomon Turk, Rumelian Turk, Urum, तुर्क|
|Primary Language:||Turkish (40,000 speakers) People group listing|
|Language Code:||tur Ethnologue Listing|
|Written:||Yes ScriptSource Listing|
|Dialect Code:||17816 Global Recordings Listing|
|Bible Translation ▲||Status (Years)|
|Bible Portions||Yes (1782-1985)|
|New Testament||Yes (1819-1993)|
|Complete Bible||Yes (1827-2006)|
|Possible Print Bibles|
|Forum of Bible Agencies|
|World Bible Finder|
|Resource Type ▲||Resource Name|
|Audio Recordings||Audio Bible teaching (GRN)|
|Audio Recordings||Online New Testament (FCBH)|
|Audio Recordings||Online New Testament (FCBH)|
|Audio Recordings||Story of Jesus audio (Jesus Film Project)|
|Film / Video||Bir Ibadet Toplantisi (Indigitube.tv)|
|Film / Video||Fathers Love Letter|
|Film / Video||Followers of Isa (Indigitube.tv)|
|Film / Video||God's Story Video|
|Film / Video||Jesus Film: view in Turkish|
|Film / Video||Magdalena (Jesus Film Project)|
|Film / Video||More Than Dreams-Ali (Indigitube.tv)|
|Film / Video||My Last Day (Jesus Film Project Anime)|
|Film / Video||Rivka (Jesus Film Project)|
|Film / Video||Story of Jesus for Children (JF Project)|
|Film / Video||The Prophets Story (Indigitube.tv)|
|General||Four Spiritual Laws|
|General||Got Questions Ministry|
|Text / Printed Matter||Bible-in-Your-Language|
|Text / Printed Matter||Bible: Turkish, Kutsal Kitap Yeni Ceviri|
|Major Religion ▲||Percent|
|Christianity (Evangelical 0.00 %)||
|Other / Small||
|Christian Segments ▲||Percent|