The youth of Pakistan will have the opportunity to learn Islamic history and values while sat in front of the television this Ramadan after Prime Minister Imran Khan requested the broadcast of Turkish series “Dirilis: Ertugrul”.
The Pakistani premier asked state-run broadcaster PTV to air the 150-episode series throughout the Muslim holy month, local media reported.
Khan, a close ally of Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, said the series would allow young people to learn Islamic ethics and history rather than a “third-hand culture”.
The series was reportedly dubbed in Urdu after a visit to Turkey by the premier last year.
“Over here we go to Hollywood then Bollywood and back again… a third hand culture gets promoted this way,” Khan told reporters on Sunday. “It is badly affecting our children.”
“I want our children and youth to know… that we also have our own culture,” he said, adding that the show features “history, romance… [and] Islamic values”.
“Dirilis: Ertugrul”, also known as “Resurrection: Ertugrul”, focuses on the 13th-century life of Ertugrul, the father of the Ottoman dynasty’s founder Osman I.
Ertugrul’s descendants went on to rule the Ottoman sultanate as it expanded across Anatolia and Thrace. The dynasty’s rule crystallised into what is now known as the Ottoman Empire with the 1453 conquest of Istanbul by Mehmed II.
The show is sometimes referred to as the Turkish “Game of Thrones” and is one of several sprawling Turkish dramas to gain popularity across the Middle East, Asia and South America.
Some have shunned the series, however, with Egypt’s highest Islamic authority warning against watching “Dirilis: Ertugrul” and “Valley of the Wolves”, another Turkish series.
The popular series are part of efforts led by Turkish President Erdogan to revive the Ottoman Empire, the Global Fatwa Index claimed in February.
The Global Fatwa Index is associated with Egypt’s Dar al-Iftaa, one of the Muslim world’s oldest and most influential bodies responsible for giving out fatwas, or religious edicts, on all aspects of worship and life.
Turkey has been a staunch rival of Egypt since President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi seized power from the country’s first democratically-elected president – and Turkish-ally – Mohammad Morsi in a 2013 coup.
The Index said that Erdogan and his supporters “export to the people and nations the idea that they are the leaders of the caliphate, responsible for supporting Muslims worldwide and being their salvation from oppression and injustice, while also seeking to implement Islamic law”, according to Egyptian media.
“They hide the fact that their main drive in these colonial campaigns is what Erdogan reaps from material and political gains,” it added.