The newly formed Central Eurasia Mission will open July 1, according to Deseret News. The new mission was approved by the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles on April 24.
The mission will include the countries of Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkey, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan, which will encompass five branches. The mission will include divisions of the existing Bulgaria Sofia Mission and Russia Novosibirsk Mission.
The new mission president and his wife will reside in Istanbul, Turkey, according to Deseret News.
The Central Eurasian Mission will have over 150 million people within its boundaries. Of the countries covered by the new mission, only Kazakhstan and Turkey having been assigned to LDS missions before.
There are currently four branches in Turkey, two branches in Kazakhstan and a branch for expatriate members in Azerbaijan, according to The Cumorah Project, a privately funded organization dedicated to LDS research.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was legally introduced into Turkey in October 2011. The Church preceded to assign Turkish-speaking missionaries to Istanbul in early 2012.
Proselytizing missionaries were sent to Kazakhstan as early as 2004, according to The Cumorah Project. In 2011, missionaries amplified their outreach by increasing their Kazakh-language fluency.
The Church currently reports 397 members in Turkey and 281 members in Kazakhstan, with no statistics available for Azerbaijan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan or Uzbekistan.