SAT-7 TÜRK STRIVES TOWARDS ‘IMPOSSIBLE’ GOALS
If someone had suggested a few years ago that SAT-7 TÜRK would be broadcasting as the only Christian channel on a government-owned satellite in Turkey, many would have thought it impossible.
However, in 2014 SAT-7 TÜRK obtained a ten-year license to broadcast on the government’s Türksat satellite, opening up the channel to a potential audience of over 55 million people. Now, the SAT-7 TÜRK team continue to strive towards ‘impossible’ goals to make God’s love visible in Turkey.
PURSUING IMPOSSIBLE GOALS
“It was very difficult to start it up,” reflects SAT-7 TÜRK Executive Director, Melih Ekener. The challenge of getting onto Türksat was a dream for many years before it became reality, but now Ekener says “we see miracles every day.”
Now in their third year of broadcasting 24/7 on the government satellite, it’s clear that Ekener and the team are not losing momentum.
“Getting on Türksat was just the beginning: we want to be one of the most watched channels in our country.”
Ekener’s passion is infectious; his faith evident as he shares his dreams for the future. He admits that some goals seem impossible or unattainable, but the team are not discouraged by this. “We present our goals to God with great humility, and we believe He will help us achieve them.”
Television is extremely popular in Turkey, and there is currently a boom in the country’s television industry. As the first and only Christian channel to be broadcasting on the most popular satellite platform in Turkey, SAT-7 TÜRK has an unprecedented opportunity to reach the people of Turkey with the message of God’s love.
Ekener and the team are doing all they can to make the most of this opportunity and compete with the most watched channels in Turkey. “We are constantly observing the top ten channels and seeing what it is they are doing different, so we can step up our game,” he explains. “This is how we set our goals and priorities.”
As news and drama are the most popular types of program genres with Turkish viewers, the team are focusing their efforts on these areas. “In the past three years, we’ve been trying to set up our news centre. We have a lot of great ideas and stories.”
However, the small team face daily challenges. The financial costs of setting up a news centre are high, which means progress has been slow. With only 0.2% of Turkey’s population Christian, it can be challenging to find fellow Christians with relevant skills such as script writing, presenting, and video production.
The team must depend on God for the resources and connections they need to see their goals become a reality. However, with many miracles already witnessed, the team is not daunted. They continue to push forward with full faith that one day, what seems impossible will be achieved.
 Todd M. Johnson and Gina A. Zurlo, eds. World Christian Database (Leiden/Boston: Brill, 2018). Please note this figure excludes expats.