Mormon church pulls missionaries out of Turkey

Mormon church pulls missionaries out of Turkey

SALT LAKE CITY - The Associated Press
Mormon church pulls missionaries out of Turkey

In this Thursday, July 21, 2016 file photo, pro-government supporters protest against the attempted coupon Istanbul's iconic Bosporus Bridge. AP photo

The Mormon church has pulled its 15 missionaries out of Turkey, citing concern about unstable conditions in the country, following a failed coup attempt July 15 that killed about 290 people and wounded around 2,000 others. 

“The church has transferred 15 young volunteers serving in Turkey to Germany,” a statement by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints said, according to a news release published by the website “Mormon newsroom.”

The volunteers will work with the Turkish-speaking population in Berlin, the statement added. 

“We anticipate these volunteers will return when conditions in Turkey normalize,” the church said.

“Our prayers are with the people of Turkey and with our church members who live there.”

The church says it has one active mission and 439 congregations in Turkey. 

Turkey has been targeted by consecutive terror attacks by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) and the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) over the past year, while the failed coup attempt is believed to have been organized by the outlawed Fethullahist Terror Organization (FETÖ), followers of the U.S.-based Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen.