Dirilis: Ertugrul, a Turkish television drama, has taken Pakistani by storm. The series focusing the life of the father of the Ottoman Empire has taken rating leads not only in Pakistan but also in other parts of the world.
For the first time Pakistani audience was acquainted with Turkish seasonal drama dramatising the medieval period of the Ottoman Empire and Muslim culture.
Though the Turkish dramas have been aired since a long time in Pakistan it was Dirilis: Ertugrul that gained the nationwide fame.
The heroic drama is filled with romance, adventure and suspense and also a sense of religious sentiment.
Why this drama has taken Pakistani by Strom?
The timing is much essential to determine the popularity of Epic Turkish drama in Pakistan. According to the state-run TV channel, The Turkish drama has broken all the records of viewership on YouTube as well. It has remained on “Top 50 Global YouTube-viewed channel”.
The first episode of the drama attracted nearly 60 million views on YouTube from Pakistan in the month of Ramadhan. The month of Ramadhan and TV game shows are considered archetypal duo of TV shows in Pakistan. Due to pandemic, the game shows were badly affected. Thus, there was a huge gap to fill in for Turkish drama.
When people’s movement is restricted, they suffer from excessive uneasiness. Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) reported over 20% surge in internet usage during the lockdown. The usage of social media applications like Netflix and YouTube mounted at Surprising popularity. The Dirilis: Ertugrul; has proven the most-streamed TV drama on the internet by the online community, after The Game of Throne.
Smitten with Turkish drama, Prime Minister Imran Khan himself asked the Pakistani nation to watch the drama. He recommended them to watch the drama as it gave the comprehensive details of Muslim political, literary and religious dignitaries of the Medieval Times. In one of the interviews given to media, Imran Khan said:
“Spiritual and mystical teachings of Ibn-e-Arabi always helped him seeking a spiritual path in life and it was good to see Ibn-e-Arabi being portrayed in this drama.”
Religious and Cultural Flavour
The name of the drama is self-explanatory, Dirilis: Resurrection. It is a populist appeal for religious leaders. Pakistan and Turkey enjoy cordial relation since millennia. Due to the Khilafat Movement spearheaded by Muslim leaders of the subcontinent to save the Ottoman Empire, Turkey has a deep reverence for the people of Pakistan.
The drama received a positive reaction from the public.
Misbah Gabol, a computer graduate from SZABIST University, Hyderabad describes the drama as “the most iconic and classical piece to watch.”
“Initially I was not interested and thought it typical Indian Maha Bharat sort of thing but seeing the craze of my brother to watch it in Netflix pushed me to jump on the bandwagon. Being computer savvy, the graphic interface and features of the movies inspired me with emotion and passion.” She exclaimed,” she said.
“It took me into the valley the fantasy. It combined all characters of life: war, romance, tragedy and peace. It has Homeric flavour of Greece heroic tales; Shakespearean tragedy. it also reminded me of Bhitai’s epic story of warriors whereby wives of soldiers sung a song for the victory and safe return of their heroes. Zarbano Kohyar, working NGO shared her feeling about drama.”
Overall the Dirilis: Ertugrul has had a deep historical, cultural, religious and political impact on the lives of people of Pakistan. From Karachi to Khyber, no foreign drama has gone touching such heights in popularity. A historical story that was put in the fictional enactment beat all the records of fame and gain for the drama stars and the country.