Turk in Romania

Turk
Photo Source:  Anonymous 
Map Source:  Bethany World Prayer Center
People Name: Turk
Country: Romania
10/40 Window: No
Population: 24,000
World Population: 65,625,000
Primary Language: Turkish
Primary Religion: Islam
Christian Adherents: 0.00 %
Evangelicals: 0.00 %
Scripture: Complete Bible
Online Audio NT: No
Jesus Film: Yes
Audio Recordings: Yes
People Cluster: Turkish
Affinity Bloc: Turkic Peoples
Progress Level:

Introduction / History

The Turks of Romania are often referred to as the Osmanlis, the Rumelian Turks, and the Balkan Turks, (Rumelia means "land of the Romans" and refers to the Balkan Mountains). They are the 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 Ottoman Empire encompassed the Balkan Mountains, Arabia and North Africa. At one time, the empire also threatened to take over Vienna. Romania was part of the Ottoman Empire for more than 300 years, until the country gained its independence in the 1860s. Religious freedom was guaranteed to all citizens under the Communist Romanian Constitution, but in practice, religion was not encouraged, and clergy were restricted and often hindered in their duties. Religious education was discouraged and, in some cases, totally banned.

What Are Their Lives Like?

During the long Ottoman Empire reign, Rumelian Turks often settled in Balkan towns and served as military personnel or administrators or worked as craftsmen. During the late eighteenth century, many Crimean Tatars and Circassians from the Caucasus migrated to the Dobruja region where they were given land by the Ottoman government. The immigrants formed farming villages, adopted the Turkish language and religion, and intermingled with Rumelian Turks. These Dobruja Rumelian Turks are still a distinctive cultural entity. However, religious, linguistic, and social differences prevented Rumelian Turks from intermarrying with the local populations in large numbers. When they did intermarry, Turkish men usually married Muslim, non-Turkish women. Under communist rule, the Muslim minority was governed by a Mufti (Muslim leader), whose seat was at Constanta, the capital of the Dobruja region. Many Turks left the Balkans after Yugoslavia, Greece, Albania, Bulgaria, and Romania became independent countries in the nineteenth century. After World War II, about 200,000 Turks from Bulgaria and Romania were relocated in Turkey. Many of the estimated 5. 5 million Rumelian Turk who returned to Turkey were given land. Local people call the Rumelian Turk settlements "immigrant villages. " The Dobruja Turks who migrated to Turkey have been assimilated in large numbers into the Turkish professional classes and serve in various government organizations. Lamb, a favorite meat of the Turks, is typically prepared as a pilaf (rice and oil cooked with small bits of meat). Turks relish sweets, and they 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 Turks drink lots of strong coffee and yogurt.

What Are Their Beliefs?

Wherever they live Turks are Sunni Muslims. "Sunni," is derived from the Islamic term, sunnah, which means "well-trodden path. " Sunnis believe that the correct path is that of the majority. They believe that the One, Supreme God, Allah, spoke through his prophet, Mohammed, and taught mankind how to live a righteous life through the Koran and the Hadith. To live a righteous life, you must utter the Shahada (a statement of faith), pray five times a day facing Mecca, fast from sunup to sundown during the month of Ramadan, give alms to the poor, and make a pilgrimage to Mecca if you have the means. Muslims are prohibited from drinking alcohol, eating pork, gambling, stealing, slandering, and making idols. They gather for corporate prayer on Friday afternoons at a mosque, their place of worship. The two main holidays for Sunni Muslims are Eid al Fitr, the breaking of the monthly fast and Eid al Adha, the celebration of Abraham’s willingness to sacrifice his son to Allah. Sunni religious practices are staid and simple. They believe that Allah has pre-determined our fates; they minimize free will. In most of the Muslim world, people depend on the spirit world for their daily needs since they regard Allah as too distant. Allah may determine their eternal salvation, but the spirits determine how well we live in our daily lives. For that reason, they must appease the spirits. They often use charms and amulets to help them with spiritual forces.

What Are Their Needs?

The Bible and the JESUS Film are available in Turkish. However, few if any Rumelian Turks in Romania are known to follow Christ. These precious people desperately need committed workers who will show them Christ's love.

Prayer Points

Pray that the sheer wonder of knowing Jesus and the impact he has on their lives and the joy he brings spur believers to share Christ with the Turkish people in Romania. Pray the hearts of the Turkish people would be stirred by a sovereign work of the Holy Spirit readying them for the time when they hear and respond to the gospel. Pray Turks will experience dreams and visions of Jesus leading them into a saving relationship with him. Pray for an unstoppable movement to Christ among the Turks in Romania.

Text Source:   Joshua Project