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Are Pakistanis ready for more Turkish content?

SAMAA | - Posted: May 19, 2020 | Last Updated: 2 months ago
Posted: May 19, 2020 | Last Updated: 2 months ago
Are Pakistanis ready for more Turkish content?

Photo: SAMAA Digital

After the massive success of Dirilis: Ertugrul in Pakistan, the Turkish Radio and Television Network is planning to expand the global reach of its content and it seems like they are interested in their content being aired in Pakistan.

“TRT is focused on expanding our global content offering and Urdu is one of the main languages as part of our plan,” said Riyaad Minty, the digital director for TRT and head the network’s team helping PTV broadcast Ertugrul in Pakistan while talking to SAMAA Digital.

The popular Turkish drama series was dubbed in the Urdu language on the instructions of Prime Minister Imran Khan.

The first episode of  the show, originally produced by TRT in collaboration with a private company, was aired on PTV on April 25. Its YouTube channel has 2.92 million subscribers and more than 207.31 million views.

The show is based on life of Ertugrul Bey, father of Osman Bey, the 13th-century founder of Ottoman Empire. The first season of popular TV show describes the pre-Ottoman era campaigns waged by Ertugrul Bey against the Christians.

The drama series has gained so much popularity in the country that people have actually started thinking that an Ottoman kind of government might be good for the country.

“There should be a Sultanate where there is no oppression against Muslims and others,” said an Ertugrul fan and a government servant in Karachi. “In short, there should be a Sultanate where we feel that we are actually following Islam.”

Shazia Tabassum, an MPhil student in media studies, told SAMAA Digital that she loves the Turkish series because it gives the people an idea of what Muslims should do.

“The goal of a man should always be to establish a system of justice,” she said. A Muslim should protect innocent people and have faith in God, she added.

The success of the Turkish epic has encouraged the Pakistani government to air more historical Turkish shows in the country. The next line is Yunus Emre.

A close aide of the PM, Faisal Javed Khan, tweeted about the new series a few weeks ago.

According to Minty, the network has already started releasing some of its other shows, including Yunus Emre, on YouTube in other languages.

Some of Pakistani TV actors, including Reema and Shaan, have criticised PM Khan’s government for promoting Turkish content in the country.

Saife Hassan, a Pakistani actor and director who has recently collaborated with the ISPR to make Ehd-e-Wafa, believes that there is nothing to be afraid of.

“If such dramas are made in Pakistan, they will also get very popular,” Hassan told SAMAA Digital. He added that Pakistani artists should take Ertugrul as a challenge.

“The suspense element is great…its cinematography is great…its production quality is like English films but the values are Islamic and close to Pakistan,” Hassan said. “It should give us [Pakistani actors] a sense of competition.”

Despite criticism from some quarters in Pakistan, the Turkish production team doesn’t rule out possibility of joint Pakistan-Turkish project in future.

Minty said that TRT’s co-production team wants to develop more meaningful relationship with the media industries around the world.

“Our co-production team is always on the lookout to work with partners around the world. We hope that the success of shows like Ertugrul is just the first step in developing a more meaningful relationship with the industry around the world,” he said.

“One of the beautiful things about shows like Ertugrul is that it’s able to also transport us to different cultures and regions, so that we’re also able to expand our understanding beyond our geographic boarders. Our values and shared history is what connects us at our core.”

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One Comment

  1. Anonymous  May 19, 2020 8:57 pm/ Reply

    hamare apne actors ne tu koe khas kaam nahi kia sawaye besharmi be hayaee fahashi k. bas issi waja se lollywood mai se kuch ko takleef hai k inko shuhrat keun nahi mili. in ko sharm se doob mar jana chahiye.
    in ko bas aisee films achi lagti hein jis mai larki larka aik doosre k sath chimte rahein.

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