A new Eurasian mission will open July 1 of this year, according to Deseret News. The mission was approved by the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles April 24, 2015.
The new Eurasia mission will include the countries of Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkey, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan, which will encompass five branches. The mission will also include divisions of the existing Bulgaria Sofia and Russia Novosibirsk missions.
The mission president and his wife will reside in Istanbul, Turkey, according to Deseret News.
The new Central Eurasian Mission will have over 150 million people within its boundaries, with 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 in Azerbaijan for expatriate members, according to the article, “Case Studies on Recent LDS Missionary and Church Growth Successes”, by Matt Martinich on cumorah.com.
The Church was legally introduced into Turkey in October of 2011. The Church proceeded to assign Turkish-speaking missionaries to Istanbul in early 2012.
Proselyting missionaries were sent to Kazakhstan as early as 2004, according to the case study done by Martinich. In 2011, missionaries amplified their outreach by increasing their Kazakh language fluency.
The Church currently reports 397 members in Turkey, 281 members in Kazakhstan, with no statistics available for Azerbaijan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan or Uzbekistan.