6 February 2023 (Updated 7 February)
Staff at SAT-7’s Turkish TV studios are deeply shocked and request prayer for their country following Monday’s two massive earthquakes.
In a short statement, SAT-7 TÜRK said, “We are shocked and very sad. Currently, in many provinces, people are waiting for help under the rubble. The weather is cold and resources are limited… Please pray with us for the rescue of those who are under the rubble as soon as possible and for the necessary treatment for those who are injured… May the Lord comfort those who lost their loved ones.”
“Many of our staff have families, homes, churches, relatives and friends living in southeast Türkiye,” said SAT-7 TÜRK Executive Assistant Annamaria Cedolin. “Many have seen pictures of their family homes collapsed; cathedrals and churches have come down.”
The earthquakes struck at 1.17 GMT near the border city of Gazientep and at 10.24 GMT 80 miles to the north, causing destruction across a wide area of southeast Türkiye and northwest Syria. At the time of writing, the combined death toll has passed 5,000.
As emergency teams worked to rescue survivors from collapsed buildings, SAT-7 staff, like citizens across Türkiye, waited anxiously for news of family members, while many phone lines were down.
Broadcasting from Istanbul, Şemsa Deniz Bakır, the presenter of SAT-7 TÜRK’s first live programme of the day, Homemade, invited any viewers who needed spiritual support to call.
A viewer of the show messaged to say, “May the Lord give patience to those who are left behind and healing to those who are injured. I share their pain and pray they find the courage to overcome this trauma.”
The channel’s news programme was preparing extensive coverage of the rescue operation, while its news page is constantly updating with reports of the disaster. This included sad news from Hatay province, one of those most badly effected. There, Pastor Hakan and his wife Pola Konur of Iskenderun Bible Church were among those who lost their lives, although their son, Yoel, was rescued from the rubble.
SAT-7’s Arabic channel will also cover the disaster in Tuesday’s live New Angle programme from the channel’s Cairo studio. Later in the week, SAT-7’s Lebanon studio will report on the situation and its effect on Syrian refugees in Friday’s current affairs show, You Are Not Alone.
SAT-7 International CEO Rita El-Mounayer comments: “We are all so devastated by the situation in Türkiye and Syria. People are suffering directly because of the earthquake, but fear, cold and confusion are playing a huge role in this tragedy as well. Our hearts, thoughts and prayers are with the people there. We are weeping and mourning with them, lifting them up with our prayers. May God have mercy.”
We will be launching an appeal for the region in the coming days, but if you would like to give to the ongoing ministry of SAT-7 TÜRK at this time please donate here.