Somali in Türkiye (Turkey)

Photo Source:  Copyrighted © 2024
MarosMatousek - Shutterstock  All rights reserved.  Used with permission
Send Joshua Project a map of this people group.
People Name: Somali
Country: Türkiye (Turkey)
10/40 Window: Yes
Population: 28,000
World Population: 26,948,600
Primary Language: Somali
Primary Religion: Islam
Christian Adherents: 0.40 %
Evangelicals: 0.30 %
Scripture: Complete Bible
Online Audio NT: Yes
Jesus Film: Yes
Audio Recordings: Yes
People Cluster: Somali
Affinity Bloc: Horn of Africa Peoples
Progress Level:

Introduction / History

Several million Somali live scattered across eight countries in the northeastern portion of Africa, commonly called the "Horn of Africa," and in the Middle East. They are one of the most homogenous people groups in Africa, speaking a common language, adhering to a single faith, and sharing a cultural heritage. Somalis first came to Africa around 1200 A.D. and were converted to Islam about 1550 by Arabian traders. Today, a relatively small number live in the United Arab Emirates. They have worked in various occupations including shepherding, farming, trading, and unskilled labor. The UAE is a federation of seven independent Arab states within the Arabian Peninsula, which is located on the southern end of the Persian Gulf. Although Somalis were originally nomadic shepherds, many now dwell in urban areas, serving as middlemen between the Arab world and their nomadic brothers of the interior.

What Are Their Lives Like?

Somali society is based on the nuclear family, which consists of a husband, wife and children. The man is the head of his household. A typical family owns a herd of sheep or goats and a few burden camels. Some may also own a herd of breeding and milking camels. The more camels a man has, the greater his prestige. Although the official language of the UAE is Arabic, the Somali speak the Somali language. They have often been called "a nation of poets in search of an alphabet," because the Somali language had no written script until 1972.
Those who live in Turkey are in the process of learning a far different language and navigating a different culture. About all the Somalis share with the Turks is Sunni Islam.

What Are Their Beliefs?

Although Somalis are nearly all Sunni Muslims, numerous beliefs and traditions have been intermingled with their Islamic practices. The standard Islamic prayers are usually observed; however, Somali women have never worn the required veils. Villagers and urban settlers frequently turn to the wadaad (a religious expert) for blessings, charms and advice in worldly matters. These people depend upon good works to pay the penalty for their sins. They depend upon the spirit world for their daily needs because they regard Allah as too distant. They believe that Allah may determine their eternal salvation, but the spirits determine how well they live in their daily lives. Consequently, they must appease the spirits.

What Are Their Needs?

The greatest need of this people group is to hear and understand the infinite love of Almighty God who has paid the penalty of all their sins. They need to be set free from fear and the domination of evil spirits that ruin their lives. Who will take gospel resources to Issa Somali people in Turkey?

Prayer Points

Pray for effectiveness of the JESUS Film and Christian radio and TV among them. Ask the Lord to raise up long term missionaries to live among Issa Somali people in Turkey and share Christ's love with them. Ask the Lord to raise up a strong Disciple Making Movement among Issa Somali people in Turkey.

Text Source:   Joshua Project