SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Political unrest in Turkey has led the Mormon church to pull 29 church members serving missions there and reassign them to other countries.
Mormon church spokesman Daniel Woodruff said Sunday in a statement that the men and women will be reassigned to other parts of the world due to "a prolonged period of heightened political tensions" in Turkey.
Four others who are serving missions for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Turkey will return home since they were close to finishing.
Like in Russia, Mormon missionaries in Turkey are known as "volunteers" due to the country's laws and circumstances.
The church regularly reassigns or pulls out missionaries from countries where there's unrest.
Missions are considered rites of passage for many Mormons. Men serve two years while women go for 18 months.