People Group Profiles

“All nations will come and worship before you."

- Revelations 15:4

Meskhetian Turk of United States

People Group Info

Total Population: 12,500

ROP3 Code: 115687
IMB Affinity Group: Central Asia Peoples
Affinity Bloc: Turkic Peoples
People Cluster: Turkish
Language: Turkish - (tur)
Religion: Islam - Sunni
Country of Origin: Georgia

Photo courtesy of Joshua Project. By Anonymous

Majority Located Where

  Dayton, OH - 1,300

  Lancaster, PA - 785

  Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC - 590

  Chicago-Naperville-Elgin, IL - 508

  Denver-Aurora-Lakewood, CO - 375

Click here to recommend other locations where this People Group resides.

Learn More

Brief Profile

The Meskhetian Turk people are originally from a part of southern Georgia very close to the Turkish border. However, they were exiled from Georgia in 1944, and then Uzbekistan in 1989, and then went to Krasnodar, Russia. In Krasnodar, they were denied the right to register their residency and became a stateless people resulting in the absence of basic civil and human rights, including the right to employment, social and medical benefits, property ownership, higher education, and legal marriage. During 2005-2006, they began migrating as refugees to the United States.

“Meskhetian” is used to refer to their Georgian identity; “Ahiska Turks” - the most widely used among the population itself - marks their Turkish identity. Lastly, some Ahiska Turks, especially those in the United States, would prefer to be called simply “Turks.”

They preserve their traditional culture by going to mosque every Friday and assembling there for weekly public worship. They also observe their traditional wedding ceremonies.

Meskhetian Turks were settled in up to 60 cities in 20 states in groups of 100 to 200 households. Since first migrating to the United States, they have been highly mobile since they were randomly dispersed under a refugee program. Consequently, they often move to cities where their relatives reside and the city itself offers lower house prices and a favorable labor market.

As an example, more than half of the 130 Meskhetian families settled in Denver, Colorado remigrated to other states and cities. Another example, while the first group settled in Utah consisted of 80 households, today that figure has dropped to 35. Conversely, a Meskhetian group of 150 to 200 households were settled in Dayton, Ohio, but today that figure has exceeded 300. There are other two major states attracting Meskhetian population. One is Arizona, the other is Pennsylvania.

Prayer Points

  • Pray Christians will spend time with Meskhitan Turks ministering to the physical and spiritual needs.
  • Pray for Christians who are intentionally engaging Meskhitan Turks to have boldness in sharing Christ.
  • Pray God will penetrate social, cultural, and religious barriers that prevent Meskhitan Turks from understanding and accepting the message of a God who is ultimate yet showed his unconditional love by becoming intimate and living among us through Jesus Christ.

People Group Resources

Central Asian Peoples - Short Videos
Short videos in mother tongues of the people groups in Central Asia. - Turkish
An online audio/written Bible and app in Turkish and other languages.

Discovery Bible App - Turkish
Discovery Bible study story sets in Turkish.

Gerçek Umut
Turkish-language website focused on outreach to Turks in North America and beyond. Resources include The Savior video, testimonies, and written resources in Turkish

Got Questions?
Your Questions. Biblical Answers. In Turkish.

Jesus Film in Turkish
The Jesus Film and other gospel resource videos in Turkish language.

Jesus Film Project - Magdalena in Turkish
Mary Magdalena film in Turkish. This resource is very powerful among women.

Journey to the Truth
A set of videos that use animated characters to answer most common Muslim questions through storytelling in Turkish.

King of Glory Film - Turkish
King of Glory goes through the ancient Scriptures of the prophets as it chronologically and unfolds their story and message in Turkish.

The Bible Project - Turkish
The Bible Project provides video resources that overview of subjects and/or books of the Bible in Turkish.

The Prophet's Story - Turkish
Creation to Christ video using a sacrificial theme, contextualized for Muslims.

The Savior Film
A cinematic history of Jesus' life, death, and resurrection in Turkish.

Learning Resources

Learn more about "Any-3"
Any–3 provides biblical principles and practical steps that have equipped hundreds of Christians to witness confidently and effectively. Over the past decade, thousands of Muslims have been engaged with the gospel.

Learn more about "Learning Paths"
Online Courses for embracing, encountering and engaging diaspora people. Work at your own pace. Begin anytime and complete the course according to your schedule. Interactive, Hands-On Application.

Learn more about "Reaching the Nations"
This book delineates five disciplines Christians should develop in order to effectively reach the nations. More specifically, it will guide Christians to develop an engagement strategy in their locale.

Loving Muslims Small Group Study
This Loving Muslims booklet is a two-week group study that takes a deeper look at Christ’s command to "love our neighbor."

World Religions - Beliefs Overview
An overview of major world religions and cults - their beliefs and practices.

Overview of Islam
Overview of Islam and its sub-groupings. Developed by the North American Mission Board, SBC. Includes generalized witnessing tips.

Other Resources

Know God in 98 Languages
A CRU resource with 9 different witnessing models (e.g. 4 Spiritual Laws, etc.) in 98 languages.

Prayer Guide for Unreached Peoples
A 30 day guide to pray for unreached people groups.

Prayer Guide using the GOSPELS acronym
A prayer guide that utilizes the acronym GOSPELS to pray for workers among diaspora.

Displaying 1-6 of 6 results.
Country City Metro Area Name State / Prov. Baseline Population
United StatesDaytonDaytonOH1,300
United StatesLancasterLancasterPA785
United StatesWashingtonWashington-Arlington-AlexandriaDC590
United StatesChicagoChicago-Naperville-ElginIL508
United StatesDenverDenver-Aurora-LakewoodCO375
United StatesPhoenixPhoenix-Mesa-ScottsdaleAZ250