SAT-7 TÜRK: A vital resource in times of disaster

Three weeks have passed since two disastrous earthquakes struck south-eastern Türkiye and a week since two major aftershocks. Throughout this time, SAT-7 TÜRK has been a vital resource for its viewers, especially women and children, by providing spiritual, psychological, and practical support and encouragement.

“There is such depth to the heartache we are feeling, it is hard to put into words,” says Melih Ekener, Executive Director of SAT-7 TÜRK. “Yet we must still be strong, pray, and lean on God for strength, as we cannot do this alone. Through our programming we must share courage and strength with people trying desperately to cope with ongoing trauma from the earthquakes.”

The Worldview program devoted its episode on 22 February to explaining how the Church is helping by opening its doors to all those affected and providing shelter, food and clothing to everyone without discrimination. The presenters, Senem Ekener and Volkan Er, emphasised how these disasters primarily affect women and children. They advised adults to prevent children from watching news that might cause them emotional distress.

The broadcast included interviews with pastors and survivors that were conducted by Senem during a recent visit by SAT-7 TÜRK to the affected areas. She also shared her own impressions and thoughts with viewers.

The program Parents are Asking, which aired the week before on social media, counselled parents on how to keep children active and energetic during times of disaster. In this week’s episode, the presenter, Nora Yazırlıoğlu, specialist psychologist Dença Kristopuryan, and Senem, who is trained in healing wounds from trauma, discussed the needs of affected children and their parents and how to support them and their families.

On 24 February, the Homemade program discussed children’s rights during times of disaster and emergency. Many traffickers are ready to exploit children at such times. The program hosted two lawyers, Av Mahmut Can İsal and Berivan Çıta, who explained that in these circumstances, child protection “involves the prevention of and response to abuse, neglect, and exploitation, including all forms of physical and psychological abuse, sexual and gender-based violence, and deprivation of basic needs”. Practical ways to protect children include not exposing those who seem/are alone by photographing them and sharing the photos publicly. We don’t know who is looking at their pictures.

SAT-7 TÜRK’s news programs are also keeping viewers informed about the aid being provided by churches all over Türkiye to those in the earthquake zone who are waiting for help.

Even after this tragic disaster has faded from the mainstream news, SAT-7 TÜRK will still be there to help. “Over the coming weeks and months, we must continue to amplify the voice of the church and assist the deep healing that is needed after this devastating tragedy,” says Melih.

Please pray that God will strengthen the channel and its staff to support Turkish-speaking Christians in and beyond Türkiye.

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