Missionaries serving in the Bulgaria Sofia Mission report that four elders will be assigned to Istanbul, Turkey in mid-February and begin active missionary work in Turkey. This development appears to have occurred on the heals of the Church receiving government recognition within the past year. In accordance with societal attitudes regarding Christian proselytism, all missionary activity will occur through member referral. Reports indicate that missionaries will learn the Turkish language by attending university classes for a portion of the day once transferred to Istanbul. Turkey previously pertained to no mission but was assigned to the Bulgaria Sofia Mission within the past year.
The Church has operated four branches in Turkey for two decades and has assigned humanitarian senior missionary couples for years. The assignment of young missionaries to Turkey is a major church growth development as Turkey numbers among the most populous countries that have no proselytizing missionaries assigned and Turkey is a homogeneously Muslim nation. It is unclear whether missionaries will be permitted to teach Muslims or be restricted to working with individuals who follow other religious beliefs.