FOUR YEARS OF CHRISTIAN TV IN TURKEY
SAT-7 TÜRK recently celebrated its fourth anniversary of broadcasting Turkish-speaking Christian programs in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA). As the only Christian television channel on the Turkish government’s Türksat, it is a unique and valuable source of information about Christianity for millions of Turkish speakers, drawing the attention of secular media companies.
The European television news network, Euronews, recently published an article about SAT-7 TÜRK and its role in developing a better understanding of Christianity in Turkey. Melih Ekener, Executive Director of SAT-7 TÜRK, and Umut Şahin, the General Secretary of the Association of Protestant Churches were interviewed by the secular news channel.
STRENGTHENING THE BOND BETWEEN CHRISTIANS
“It is a very positive development that the Turkish government granted a broadcast license to this channel five years ago and that no legal problems have occurred since,” Umut Şahin says. “It was an important turning point in legitimising Christians in the eyes of Turkish society and in reaching the masses.”
SAT-7 TÜRK has contributed to the strengthening of relationships among Christians in Turkey. According to Şahin, the channel is improving understanding between Christian denominations and other religious groups in Turkey, as well as helping dispel prejudices about Christianity. According to a SAT-7 viewer survey conducted last year, the channel is watched by 1.5 to 2 million people on a regular basis.
THE TRUTH ABOUT CHRISTIANITY
SAT-7 TÜRK is currently the only available Christian TV channel on the government satellite Türksat. “The channel covers the whole Christian community; it has representatives from all denominations within its administration,” says Melih Ekener. “This is why SAT-7 TÜRK is a reliable source of Christian culture.”
Speaking to Euronews, Melih Ekener described the channel’s goals as educating the Turkish population about Turkey’s 2000-year Christian history, eliminating false perceptions and providing correct information about Christianity. Unfortunately, misconceptions about Christianity in Turkey are common and the country’s rich Christian history is not widely known.
APPEALING TO A WIDE AUDIENCE
Besides exploring Christian culture and Christianity in Turkey, the channel also has programs about women, health, food, children, cinema, and art and culture. Covering such a wide range of topics, the channel appeals to Christians and non-Christians alike in Turkey, and continues to grow in popularity.