Ertugrul, the Turkish television series, is very popular in Pakistan to a large extent. Outstandingly, the Pakistan Prime Minister, Imran Khan encourages this television show. This in fact has become the talk of the nation to have the head of the country so passionate about a television program.
This is because Ertugrul highlights devotion for the Ottoman Empire and a yearning for a glorious Muslim past. Honorable Imran Khan even ordered the national broadcaster to dub it into Urdu.
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Ertugrul is based on Muslim Oghuz Turks’ history. It takes place in the 13th century. It reflects the life of Ertugrul in person who was the father of Osman I. Osman I, in turn, was the founder of the Ottoman Empire.
The history of the Ottoman Empire has an integrated part in a country like Pakistan where the majority population is of the Islamic faith. The religion of the Ottoman Empire was Islam, hence underlining the religious zeal of Prime Minister Imran Khan to Ertugrul.
The show thoroughly invokes Islam and achieves victory against all odds. Historical facts bring vivid images to the audience’s mind.
Pakistan’s Prime Minister’s decision to encourage this Turkish show is intentional as he wants to emphasize Islamic values which were gradually crumpled in the nation. Leaders of the Muslim world after all have a very crucial place in Pakistan.
Turkish and Pakistan share a very close bond. Mosharraf Zaidi, senior fellow at Pakistani think-thank Tabadlab mentions that “For decades, modern secular Turkey and modern Pakistan have been extremely close allies.
The bonds are historic, military, and strategic and since the emergence of AKP under Turkish leader Erdogan, they have increasingly taken on cultural dimensions.”
Laaleen Sukhera, the Communication Consultant, also adds, “Ertugrul offers an alternative narrative to a country with a majority population of under-35s to connect with a past empire associated with conquest rather than fighting against colonialism.
It’s a soapy period drama but whether it inspires big-budget depictions of subcontinental heroes like Razia Sultan and Chand Bibi remains unclear.”