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The Turkish Game of Thrones – Diriliş: Ertuğrul

Brown Magazine looks at this Turkish show that seems to be taking the world by storm.

The Turkish Series diriliş: ertuğrul -

The probable chances are that if not all but at least some of you would be wondering about the word ‘ Turkish’ and some would be wondering about the entire title. Nothing to wonder about, sit back and relax as we unravel through the ‘The Turkish Game of Thrones’.

Dating back to the 13th-century era is the phenomenal Turkish TV series/show- ‘Dirilis Ertugrul’, widely known as just ‘Ertugrul’ as is the shortened form of the latter. The series commenced in 2014 on Turkey’s national television (TRT) and continued to remain on air till 2019. The show owes its extensive time span to the Ottoman empire’s overwhelming history and thus has five long seasons. The show revolves around how the foundation stones of the largest empire in history were laid, therefore taking the viewers to the 13th century Anatolia (makes up a large part of Turkey), where an ordinary nomadic tribe known as ‘Kayi‘ bears men of outstanding valour, conviction and stoicism. Ertugrul- the lead protagonist of the show is the youngest son of the leader of the tribe, carries extraordinary valour, foresightedness, and wisdom and thus becomes the pioneer to lead the small tribe to exemplary victories and incredible horizons and forming an entire state if their own. The show puts out an unequivocal description of how the men and women alike aimed towards making their tribes powerful, virtuous and rightly guided. It contains scenes where women outstand men in both intellect and strength. 

Image: The Turkish TV show Dirilis: Ertugrul. via

The show has it all – from the war of succession to religious and moral lessons and subtle love fables; hence enveloping a humongous audience. It picked a never-ending flare when the Prime Minister of Pakistan aired the show on the Pakistani national television (PTV) with an Urdu dubbed version of the show. Within just a few days, the show was absolutely smashing the records in the Urdu speaking nations. The show’s YouTube channel was being flooded with the barrage of comments asking to upload the following episodes as soon as possible. This record-breaking aspect could partly be credited to worldwide lockdown and thus people having a lot of free time to binge-watch the show. The show is apparently being viewed in 75 countries and has managed to hook billions of viewers. The actors playing different characters are being largely hailed by the audience for their befuddling and stunning looks to their flawless acting. The chivalry that men show in the series is admirable to a huge extent. It has characters playing religious scholars and saints, which play the roles well-enough and their attire entirely absorbs the viewers, making it all seem real and not fictitious. 

Such a wave of fervour the show has spread, that people across nations are naming their newborns after the characters’ names. To show their love for the show, a couple from Kashmir called their newborn boy ‘Ertugrul’, and the news went viral. The show’s music is also equally out of the world, and people are making the renditions of the theme song which are totally gripping and thrilling. The show has been most popular in the Muslim world. The show hails the Muslim empire’s glory and celebrates the heroes that exultantly shouldered the foundation of the glorious Ottoman empire. It also gained this quite significant and overwhelming response because it presents a counter-narrative to the much prominent Islamophobic narrative. However, the series does contain violent acts such as beheading owing to the system or school of capital punishment in the then times when the law was to execute the culprit. 

People all across also seemed to embrace the dresses of women and their attire in the show. Lately, many Youtubers were seen visiting Turkey and vlogging the beautiful cities and the place’s mouth-slobbering cuisine. The show has won hearts all over, with its subtle love stories, dramatic fights, heinous treachery, holy teachings and much more. The show contains 5 seasons, with at least 90 episodes in each season and each episode being about 45 minutes each. These figures seem impossible, but all those who once start to watch, stop only at the last minute.

On a personal level, I would say that watching this I have all along cried with emotions and laughed with glory, the show appeals to the emotional cognition and makes one feel to be a part of it. 

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Profusely in love with nature and its enticing mysteries, passionate about writing and an ardent follower of Rumi's work.

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