Tuerke in China

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Tuerke
Photo Source:  Copyrighted © 2019
Operation China, Asia Harvest  All rights reserved.  Used with permission
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People Name: Tuerke
Country: China
10/40 Window: Yes
Population: 300
World Population: 600
Primary Language: Ili Turki
Primary Religion: Islam
Christian Adherents: 0.00 %
Evangelicals: 0.00 %
Scripture: Unspecified
Online Audio NT: No
Jesus Film: No
Audio Recordings: No
People Cluster: Turkish
Affinity Bloc: Turkic Peoples
Progress Level:

Identity

The Tuerke, who are ethnically and linguistically distinct from all other peoples in the region, were only "discovered" by the Chinese in 1956. Their name is a generic term for all Turkic peoples. They are also known as the Ili Turki, named after their location.

History

The oral history of the Tuerke states that they migrated from the Ferghana Valley - in today's Uzbekistan or Kyrgyzstan - about 200 years ago. The Ili Valley has long been a focal point for bandits. The Russians, angered at China's inability to control the border area, invaded Ili in 1871. They returned the region to China in March 1882. In 1962 there were several major China-Soviet military clashes along the Ili River.

Customs

Although the Tuerke possess their own set of customs, they are gradually replacing them with those of the Kazaks and Uzbeks. The Tuerke are fond of dancing and telling folk tales. In keeping with Islamic regulations, Tuerke women are required to wear veils; these are not the full face veils worn in the Middle East.

Religion

All Tuerke are Sunni Muslims. Although they do not have their own mosques, the Tuerke are faithful in observing Islamic law and prayer times.

Christianity

The far northwestern part of Xinjiang - which was formerly part of the Eastern Turkestan alliance - was one of the most missionaryneglected regions in China prior to 1949. There are few Christian communities in the area today. Gospel radio programs, aired in the Uzbek, Kazak, and Uygur languages, are the best opportunity the Tuerke have of hearing the gospel in a language they understand.

Text Source:   Operation China, Asia Harvest  Copyrighted © 2019  Used with permission