These are worrying times for young people in Türkiye. Inflation hit a peak of 85.5 per cent in October and at least one in five young adults have no work to go to. Many are unhappy and concerned about the future: how to get a place at university, how to find work and earn a reasonable living.
Türkiye’s young people need the right influences to help them make good decisions and to shape their thoughts, relationships, aspirations, and dreams. To help provide this support, SAT-7 TÜRK participated in September in a Christian youth festival which is organised by churches in the country every three years. It was also there to film footage for a documentary for young people that is expected to air early in 2023.
The Yüz Yüze (Face to Face) festival was attended by more than 300 young Turkish Christians from all over the country and some from Germany, Azerbaijan, Bulgaria and the UK. With the theme “Shine like Stars” taken from Philippians 2:15-16, they worshipped and prayed together, attended seminars and workshops, and discussed current hot topics on the youth agenda.
Among the guests who shared how to “shine like stars” in their chosen areas of work or leisure was Christian footballer Josef de Souza, a midfielder in Istanbul’s famous Beşiktaş football team.
The young people were also able to learn about SAT-7 TÜRK and its programmes, interact with presenters and the production crew, and encourage them in their work.
“I was really happy to see young people in Türkiye praying with such heartfelt devotion,” said Gülsüm I, Deputy Executive Director of SAT-7 TÜRK, who attended the festival as part of the SAT-7 TÜRK team.
“They supported each other, cried together, laughed together. They had fun, shared their thoughts and perspectives, their stories. They truly participated in the spirit of the event.
“The worship groups and the music were incredible. These were young people who sought hope in the Lord amid the economic crisis and unemployment. And seeing their bonding and seeking hope in the Lord encouraged us to do more projects for them in the future,”
The team filmed the whole festival and conducted interviews with many participants. Some were already watching SAT-7 TÜRK. One young man told the team that his mother watches the channel and that she would be proud of her son when she learned that they had interviewed him. He was so happy and excited that he wanted to take a picture with the team and kept asking when his interview would be broadcast! Of course, some were afraid to appear on television because they feared the reactions of their families, schools, and teachers, but others gave great interviews.
The festival was an excellent opportunity for SAT-7 TÜRK. Apart from being able to spend precious time with the Christian youth of Türkiye, this was an opportunity both to film key elements of the festival and to gather the stories of a number of participants’ journeys with Jesus. For those brave enough to go on camera, this was another opportunity to “shine as stars” and witness in a nation where the Christian population is less than one per cent.
The channel is also making plans to organise its own Christian youth festival in partnership with other church youth organisations later this year. Please pray for the channel to be a strong positive influence for the country’s young people, for the impact of the planned documentary, and that the dream of a SAT-7 TÜRK youth festival will become a reality.