LET’S TALK ABOUT REFUGEES
Not afraid to tackle difficult world issues, the Presenters of SAT-7 TÜRK’s live program Let’s Talk, addressed the refugee crisis in preparation for World Refugee Day, 20 June. Discussing a range of topics from a Christian point of view, the program has caught the attention of thousands of viewers across Turkey.
“We want to help people think about different issues,” says Cem Ercin, one of the two hosts of Let’s Talk. “We want to help them develop. The most important thing for us is that people’s lives are changed through this program.”
REFUGEES IN TURKEY
According to the UNHCR, Turkey currently hosts 3.6 million registered Syrian refugees, in addition to 365,000 refugees of other nationalities. The response of the Turkish public towards refugees is mixed, as can be seen in the comments left by viewers who watched the program live on Facebook.
One viewer expressed a frustration towards refugees refusing to adapt to Turkish culture and its morals, describing them as arrogant and quarrelsome. Another viewer also conveyed resentment towards refugees who received salaries from the government in Turkey’s current economic crisis.
On the other hand, one viewer placed himself in the refugee’s position, raising the question of what they would do if they found themselves in such a situation. A Turkish Christian lady also added: “I have been praying for refugees and those who help them for a very long time, but after reading a book on the topic, I have learned just how much they suffer and how much prayer and help they really need.”
A CHRISTIAN APPROACH
“The world doesn’t have a refugee crisis,” Cem says decisively to the camera. “The world has a sin crisis.”
By quoting Scripture and reading the parable of the good Samaritan (Luke 10 25-37), Cem and Vahan discuss what it means to be a refugee and how Christians should treat refugees.
“When a foreigner resides among you in your land, do not mistreat them. The foreigner residing among you must be treated as your native-born. Love them as yourself, for you were foreigners in Egypt. I am the Lord your God.” Leviticus 19:33-34
Verses such as these challenge the way viewers think and encourages them to have a more positive or gracious attitude towards the refugees in their own country.
The dynamic and interactive nature of the program means that the discussion of the day can change very easily. “Today we were going focus on what the Bible says about how Christians should treat refugees, but a viewer has asked about being a Christian refugee,” explains Vahan, as the flow of the conversation changes.
SAT-7 TÜRK encourages viewers to get involved in the live programs by calling or messaging the channel. In recent months, Let’s Talk has generated a lot of interest, especially on social media, due to its open discussion of difficult topics which are rarely talked about in Turkey.