Why Turkish Drama Ertugrul Ghazi Is Popular in Pakistan

Ertugrul Ghazi Turkish Drama
Credits: Ertugrul Ghazi

Turkish dramas are being aired in Pakistan for over a decade. Mera Sultan, Ishq-E-Memnu, Ek Haseena Ek Deewana, and Kosem Sultan were appreciated by many. These days everybody in Pakistan is in love with another drama that depicts the life of Ertugrul Ghazi, who was the father of Osman I, the founder of Ottomon Empire. The show is based on the 13th century Oghuz Turks who stood up to Byzantine Empire and the Mongols. 

The drama was first aired in Turkey in 2014 and became popular in more than 60 countries. Last year, PM Imran Khan reportedly requested Pakistani media to broadcast this Turkish show in the Urdu language. He mentioned that people can probably learn about Islamic history, ethics, and the struggles faced by earlier Muslim communities.

Ertugrul Ghazi Is Filling The Gap Left By Game of Thrones

There are a total of 5 seasons, out of which 3 are available on Netflix. The show has all the interesting sequences to make it stand in line with movies on Netflix that are best for passing time in lockdown. It begins when Ertugrul’s father sends him on a quest to find a new home for the nomads and build a settlement. This quest involved an interaction with the Sultan that sets off a chain of events that ultimately led to the establishment of the Ottoman Empire.

This has been so interesting for Pakistani people that the show is dubbed as Turkish Game of Thrones. The HBO show was a rocket that took off with a bang but got lost somewhere in the space. However, Ertugrul Ghazi did not face the same fate because it was based on real events and people had less expectations.

Why Ertugrul Ghazi Is Banned In Some of the Muslim World?

Despite being loved by many, the show is also criticized for glorifying a violent theme. The Ottoman Empire was established to besiege the city of Constantinople (NKA Istanbul). This city was already torn to pieces by multiple power hungry forces; Roman Empire, Byzantine Empire, Crusader states, and then finally Latin Empire. Ottoman Empire committed a genocide to take the whole city for themselves.

This is the reason why Ertugrul Ghazi is banned in Egypt and GCC. It is reported that Etrugrul Ghazi is a part of the nation-building project by Turkish President, Recep Tayyip Erdogan. It was strategically made the most popular show on TV and then internationalized. Most of the Muslim world also accuses the show to be an attempt from a group of people who believes in resurrecting or reforming the Ottoman Empire.

Things That Separate It From Political Controversy

Apart from the criticism, the presentation of the show is marvelous. The location used is Riva and the choreography team was invited from Hollywood, who contributed in creating a spectacular set.

The characters of the show are seen talking about moral dilemmas and their possible resolution which is a good way to spread spiritual and life lessons. Ottoman Empire was the result of events pertaining to the end of the show but the story revolves around the struggles of Ertugrul Ghazi and how he served as a Muslim. Ghazi is a title given to a special person who stands up for the cause of Islam (according to the Islamic way).

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