Church reassigns all volunteers serving in Turkey after ‘heightened political tensions’

Due to a prolonged period of heightened political tensions in Turkey, the Church announced April 29 that all volunteers serving in that country have been temporarily reassigned.

Some 20 young men, four young women and five senior couples have been reassigned to other regions in Europe, Asia and North America while four volunteers who were nearing the end of their service returned home.

Daniel Woodruff, a spokesman for the Church, said in a press release, “The safety of our volunteers is a primary concern for the Church, and we work diligently to monitor conditions and make adjustments as needed in an effort to promote their safety.”

Turkey, like Russia, is a country where LDS missionaries are referred to as volunteers.

It was announced in February that the Bulgaria Sofia Mission was to be realigned with the Central Eurasian Mission. The combined missions will now be known as the Bulgaria/Central Eurasian Mission headquartered in Sofia, Bulgaria. The country of Turkey continues to be part of this mission.

There are more than 500 Church members in Turkey in eight congregations.