SAT-7 TÜRK joins national celebrations of Turkish Republic’s Centenary
SAT-7 TÜRK has been celebrating the 100-year anniversary of Türkiye’s becoming a modern republic: an important opportunity to show viewers how it is possible to be both a Christian and a proud Turk.
“It was important for us, the SAT-7 TÜRK family, to be a part of these celebrations,” says Gülsüm I., the Channel’s Deputy Executive Director. “Being a part of these celebrations as the SAT-7 TÜRK team is the clearest answer to the question we frequently encounter in daily life: Can Turks be Christians? This national day is the day of all Türkiye and Turkish people. Therefore, it is ours.”
Despite the number of significant Bible stories that are set in modern-day Türkiye and the early churches that were founded there, many Turks feel that the Christian faith is foreign to their culture and opposed to their Turkish heritage. A key part of SAT-7 TÜRK’s mission is to highlight the country’s Christian history, and to show how you can be both a passionate follower of Jesus and a proud Turk. The channel’s varied programs challenge the misconceptions about Christianity in Türkiye, help viewers to learn about Jesus, and engage with Turkish culture within a biblical framework.
SAT-7 TÜRK’S COVERAGE
The anniversary of the Turkish republic, on 29 October, was widely celebrated. “The centenary of this important day was celebrated all around the nation,” Gülsüm said. “In schools, stadiums, households, workplaces, hospitals, streets, everywhere! We shared the news of the 100th anniversary of the republic with our audience both on our screens and on our news webpage.”
Popular SAT-7 TÜRK program Homemade also covered the occasion as they welcomed Dr Yavuz Dizdar, a well-known Turkish academic, as a guest on the show. Dr Dizdar, who was keen to set the formation of modern-day Türkiye in its historical context, explained that the country was war-weary after near-continuous fighting with various European empires in the 19th and 20th centuries.
The Turkish Republic was founded by military leader Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, who pursued a clean break with the country’s past, seeking to establish a new, distinctly Turkish culture. This was evident in Türkiye’s adoption of a new alphabet, based on Latin rather than Ottoman Turkish, in 1928. It was abundantly clear during the episode of Homemade that the last 100 years have been a story of Türkiye’s leaders working to redefine the country and set it on solid foundations.
Building a truly democratic nation takes time. “Democracy did not suddenly appear out of nowhere,” says Gülsüm. “In the course of one hundred years, Turkish people struggled for democracy in different ways. Difficulties and obstacles were encountered in areas such as human rights, freedom of the press, freedom of expression, and democracy, in the different political periods of the country. The people of this country have fought endlessly for this.”
Let us pray for Türkiye as it continues to work out its democratic values.