“If we can do it, you can do it too!” is the motto of a brand new SAT-7 women’s show, Homemade. It aims to inspire female viewers all over Turkey to be creative, realise their full potential and believe they can succeed at whatever they put their minds to. Host Semsa Deniz explains that, “the correct image of a normal Christian woman does not exist in Turkey. This programme wants to show a modern but ethically strong Turkish Christian woman”.
Broadcasting live for two hours every weekday, Homemade is packed full of diverse, energetic items with both regular and changing guests. The show takes live calls from the audience and is also open on social media channels. Part of the programme is dedicated to a workshop-style discussion on creating homemade crafts and cookery through demonstrations, conversations with artisans and street interviews. Another important element of Homemade is a guest slot, where successful and inspirational Turkish women are invited on to the show to speak about their careers and their journey to success.
Although Turkey is in theory a democratic, secular republic, the role of women remains defined by an ongoing gender equality struggle. Rape, honour killings, and child marriages are still all too commonplace in contemporary Turkey. Women continue to be discriminated against in the workplace and, in some regions, in education.
Producer Deniz Çolak says SAT-7 wants to encourage women to develop skills and interests that will boost their confidence. “We are speaking to Turkish women who have become lawyers, doctors, psychologists, researchers,” says Deniz. “We want our audience to be inspired by these courageous women, who stand on their own two feet despite the struggles they have faced. We are broadening our audience’s horizons and helping them dream big.”
While secular TV channels in Turkey have many programmes for women, they can often be outdated or only focus on marriage problems. Homemade brings an exciting contrast by raising awareness of issues faced by women in Turkey today, and by promoting a positive image of women and offering biblically inspired advice. “Speaking about these issues will help us show God’s love to more people. We want to make programmes, such as Homemade, available to every citizen in our country. If we can touch just one person’s life, it will have been worth it,” explains Deniz.
Homemade is just one a series of new live programmes produced by SAT-7 in response to viewer feedback in Turkey. It is clear that these live shows are making an impact on those watching: telephone calls to SAT-7 TÜRK have increased by 38% over the past year and the number of “likes” on SAT-7 TÜRK’s Facebook page has increased more than five-fold from when the channel launched on Türksat in January 2015.