The Khorasani Turk of Iran
In ancient times, the Khorasan province encompassed a vast tract of land that now lies within Central Asia and Afghanistan. It was conquered by the Arabs in the seventh century, then overrun by Genghis Khan in the thirteenth century and Teymur in the fourteenth century. From 1722 until 1730, Khorasan was occupied by the Afghans. In 1978, Khorasan experienced a massive earthquake that killed 25,000 people and destroyed the entire village of Tabas. In addition to the Khorasani Turk, many other ethnic groups inhabit this region, including the Aimaq, the Kurds, and the Baluch.
The climate of this region is cool in the summer and cold in the winter.
What are their lives like?
The Khorasani Turk use two forms of irrigation on their farms. The first is a traditional method, using underground, artificial canals and natural canals. The second is a modern irrigation method that uses deep and semi-deep wells.
There are various levels of land ownership among the Khorasani Turk. Some of the farmers own their own land; some rent land; and others are share croppers. Farm work is done mostly by the men, although the women usually help by feeding and milking the livestock. Sheep, goats, and cows are the only livestock the Khorasani Turk raise. These animals provide the families with milk, butter, oil, and meat.
Most farm plots are small and lie scattered around the villages. However, some of the farms are quite large and cannot be maintained by the family alone. Extra workers are often hired, especially during wheat and barley season.
The Khorasani Turk are skillful crafters of jewelry, furs, dolls, and glassware. They also weave beautiful carpets, rugs, and cloth. Their Khorasani carpets are well known for their exquisite designs.
In the past, the Khorasani Turk had no access to education except the traditional schools, or maktabs. Reading, writing, and traditional Persian arithmetic were taught by a single teacher in each maktab. In most cases, this teacher was also the religious leader of the community. Recently, more modern schools have become available in the villages. However, the literacy rate among women and girls is still extremely poor, a problem throughout all of Iranian society.
What are their beliefs?
What are their needs?
The Islamic Revolution of 1979 has made it very difficult to gain access to the people of Iran. However, with modern technology there may be some inroads possible through satellite television and radio.
The Khorasani Turk are a people who urgently need to hear the glorious Gospel of Christ! They need faithful intercessors who will stand in the gap for them and daily call out their names to the Lord, asking Him to open their eyes to the Truth of the Gospel.
Latest estimates from the World Evangelization Research Center.
© Copyright 1997
Bethany World Prayer Center
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