Dirilus Ertrugul: The talk of the town

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By: Talib Shahin

“Ertrugul” translated as ‘resurrection’ in English is a Turkey based television video serial that has become the talk of town since it was released on social networking sites in 2014( 10 December 2014) The whole story created by Mehmat Bodag is about the 13th century ‘Muslim Oghaz Rulers” and every episode revolves around the same theme.

Starting with Engin Altan Duzyatan in the leading role, this serial has 150 interesting and crisp episodes. Filmed in Beyzok and Istanbul in Turkey, it was first premiered on TRT 1 in December 2014. It was broadcasted internationally in my countries including Afghanistan, Albania, Algeria, Bangladesh, Brazil, Chile, Indonesia, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Pakistan, Somalia, South Africa, Tunisia, UK, USA, and Canada etc through different video platforms among which Netflix, Tolo TV,  Hayat TV, Trans7, earned a huge name. Dirilis Ertugrul was awarded Best TV Series at Pantene Golden Butterfly Awards, the forty-third times organisation in 2016(m.imdb.com)

This heroic story of Ertrugal Ghazi takes the viewers back to centuries where his son founded Ottoman Empire. With the divine motive of bringing peace, security and justice to his motherland, he engages in a war with Crusaders, whose time is considered as the darkest ever period of Christianity as they misrepresented their own teachings and terms. In addition to Crusaders, his war continues against Byzantines and Deluded Mongols. Inspired by the divine motives he continues to defend his motherland and liberates lands from oppressive regimes.

Filled with the Islamic teachings, this serial was recommended by several social, political and entertainment stalwarts. PTV Pakistan decided to provide the services for its dubbing in Urdu language. It gained more momentum when Turkish President Recep Tayib Erdogan told people to watch it as it discusses their glorious past. While praising and recommending the series Erdogan himself said “Until the lions start writing their own stories, their hunters will always be the heroes.”

In an article published in “New York Times” author William Armstrong while reviewing the Turkey’s interest in the serial writes “Series like “Dirilis: Ertugrul” express the idea that Turkey has a unique mission as the heir of a great empire, a nation founded by men of strength, courage and wisdom. In one scene the characters talk after a battle about the kind of idealized empire they will establish, rewarding talent, intelligence and martial prowess.”

For the current masses, It’s a greatly crafted counter against Islamophobia and other myths that west is spreading at alarming rates. This serial if seen thoroughly would surely help in removing many misconceptions about Muslim rulers, war in Islam, and peace goals of Muslims. An example of this is the increasing number of non Muslims who watch and give positive feedbacks about the serial. Every episode of the serial offer bunches of great lessons that we really need in current times of conflict, materialism, and uncertainty. As written by Sadaf Haider “The most notable lessons from this serial are: maintain your orientation towards establishing justice, protect the innocent, trust in God and never give up. Perhaps the most popular quote is ‘The victory is not ours, it belongs to Allah”, a sentiment that resonates deeply with ideal Muslims.

What makes it so beautiful is the excellent script that boosted the flames of talent among those actors, making it an addictive combination for the folks who prefer watching videos. Muslim world cross the global is lagging behind in defending their culture, teachings, peaceful identity and actual message. While our organizations publish books, leaflets etc on different issues, even some organise seminars etc but everything happens at bottom level. The actual audience remains awaiting, while our actors fail to come in front of stage. The reason behind this is not that we cannot afford, but rather our filmmakers and multimedia producers are not interested in producing such materials. This is mainly because of ideological lack of fundamentals or basics, portrayed as separatism in secular and liberal portrayals. Take the examples of movies like ” Kesari ” and “Padmaavat” in which Muslims rulers and warriors are designed hardcore murderers. In such an environment where the dimensions of war have changed, Dirlus Ertugal shines like luminous stars shine in a malign sky under the darkness of night. The serial makes us understand that sometimes only arms and soldiers are not enough to fought a war, but prayers bring the dawn out of hopeless circumstances. The great merit that this well entertaining drama has is that it can be watched with family, friends and children, severely affected by Bollywood and Hollywood movies and they can learn great lessons from it.

While surfing over Facebook and Instagram for the last few days, I found Kashmiri people discussing and recommending it. This serial is earning a huge love in the hearts of Kashmiris. During the conflict times of 2019, my friends with no access to internet enjoyed its every part. Let’s replace India’s Bollywood and Pakistan’s drama serials by Dirilus Ertrugul. For this show portrays Islam as it should be portrayed, I personally recommend it.

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