Turkish Soft Power
Turkish television has become a major vehicle of soft power, with viewers in the Muslim world becoming voracious consumers of the country’s soaps.
Resurrection: Ertugrul is another strategic asset for Turkey, said South Asia analyst Michael Kugelman from the Wilson Center think tank.
“There’s strong backing among many in Pakistan for pan-Muslim solidarity, which translates in many cases to support for strong Muslim leaders from Malaysia to Turkey and many places in between,” he said.
Turkey has backed Pakistan on the international stage, particularly in the dispute with New Delhi over Kashmir, and the two nations have enjoyed strong relations.
Egypt, however, fearing Turkey holds a desire to revive the Ottoman Empire and rule the Arab Muslim world, quickly issued an Islamic legal ruling against the hit show.
Saudi Arabia stopped its state broadcaster from airing all Turkish soap operas in 2018.
But Pakistan is set for more Turkish dramas, with the prime minister already lining up another show for screening.
At Mustafa’s home, his nieces and nephews follow the Turk leader’s sword battles with excitement in Resurrection: Ertugrul.
“This historical Turkish drama has provided us with a nice escape from stereotypical Pakistani dramas, which always center on the affairs of ‘saas-bahu’,” he said, referring to relationships between controlling mothers and their daughters-in-law.
PICTURES BY AAMIR QURESHI/afp