Urdu-dubbed popular Turkish TV series inspires statues in Pakistan
LAHORE (PAKISTAN) – Residents of Lahore city in Pakistan have erected statues to commemorate a medieval Turkish leader. This comes as a sign of the increasing popularity and cultural impact of a Turkish television series that depicts the origins of the Ottoman Empire.
The series, Ertugrul Gazi, which ran in Turkey until 2019, is loosely based on the story of a 13th century nomadic Turkic leader who fought Mongols, Crusaders and Byzantine rulers in what are now Syria and Turkey.
A residential area of Lahore has erected two statues of Ertugrul. Muhammad Shahzad Cheema, the head of a private housing society, commissioned a sculpture of Ertugrul, featuring a sword in hand on a rearing horse.
“The statue is a reminder of our love for the Ottoman Sultanate, and the jihad which Ertugrul waged which brought us (Muslims) respect in the whole world,” Cheema said.
Pakistan’s PTV began airing Urdu-dubbed episodes of the show during Ramadan and it has since become the most watched programme ever aired by the outlet.
PTV Managing Director Aamer Manzoor told Reuters no television show has been able to stir Pakistan the way Ertugrul Gazi has. “People feel that it is the Turkish play of Game of Thrones.”
More than 58 million people viewed the first episode on PTV’s YouTube channel in two months, and the entire show has had more than 250 million views, Manzoor said.
Given the popularity for the show in Pakistan, Turkish state television has waived royalties for the series.
According to Cheema, people were coming “from far and wide” to click selfies with the statue, installed in a square which local residents plan to rename after the Turkish hero.
The show also got a ringing endorsement from Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan, who said it would help combat “vulgarity” from Hollywood and Bollywood and promote family culture.
(Photos syndicated via Reuters)
This story has been edited by BH staff and is published from a syndicated field