The Turk of Turkey
The Turk originated in Turan, a region that lies between the Caspian Sea and the Mongolian Desert. They arrived in Antolia, Turkey (Asia Minor) in the eleventh century as conquering warriors. By the year 1299, the Ottoman Dynasty began ruling over what would soon become a vast empire. Over twenty states fell under the Ottoman rule, including Southern Russia, Iran, Iraq, Syria, Egypt, Libya, and Saudi Arabia. This huge empire lasted until Turkey became a republic in 1923.
Because of its location, Turkey is considered to be a "link" between the Orient (Chinese and Mongols) and the Occidatal (Anglo-Saxons, Slavs, Goths, and Latins). The Turk, therefore, have a knowledge and mixture of both Eastern and Western cultures.
Most of the Turk in Turkey have dark hair and brown eyes, but there is no distinctive physical type because of intermarriage with the surrounding peoples. In fact, some have blond or red hair and blue eyes.
What are their lives like?
For many of the peasants in Turkey, the clothes they work in, their homemade tools, and their livestock are their only possessions. Those who specialize in export crops or combine farming with a seasonal job, however, may become quite wealthy and even donate money to charities. The peasant communities that are located along the lush coastal plains or the low foothills by the seas usually live comfortable lives as farmers. However, those that live among the salt marshes lead more difficult lives.
The Turk men work outside while the women spin yarn, dry fruits and vegetables for winter, prepare meals for their families, care for the children, and do the household chores. They also sometimes help with the men's work. Children help their parents with the outside duties if no school is located in their community. They may ride in ox-drawn grain carts or help make colorful knots in rugs.
The diet of the Turk consists of a heavy bread, olives, cheese from sheep or buffalo milk, onions, molasses from grapes, fresh fruits, vegetables, and nuts. Meats such as fish, wild game, or poultry are only eaten once a week. Wealthier peasants may also eat lamb and beef, but Islam prohibits them from eating pork.
Village social life includes picnics, barbecues, and betting on horse races, cock fights, and wrestling matches. Soccer is Turkey's most popular sport. Children enjoy games such as hide-and-seek and follow-the-leader. They also love to hear fairy tales.
Relaxation is of the utmost importance to the Turk. Coffee houses are places where men meet to visit and talk politics or business. In general, the Turk are courteous, gentle people who readily show hospitality to strangers. They are also very patriotic and have a deep sense of nationalistic pride and love for their country.
What are their beliefs?
What are their needs?
Latest estimates from the World Evangelization Research Center.
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Bethany World Prayer Center
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