Pakistan’s state television, the PTV, is set to air a famous Turkish historical fiction series “Dirilis: Ertugrul” dubbed in Urdu soon, the state broadcaster told Arab News on Monday.
The move follows a special request by Prime Minister Imran Khan, who in October recommended the popular TV opera to all Pakistanis as promoting the true Islamic values, and insisted that the five-season series should be dubbed in Urdu.
The series is set in 13th century Anatolia, before the establishment of the Ottoman Empire. It illustrates the struggle of Ertugrul Gazi, the father of Osman I – the founder of the Ottoman dynasty.
Since its premiere on state-run Turkish TV channel TRT 1 in November 2014, the serial has been telecasted in 60 countries.
“We have taken this initiative as the prime minister wants to protect our social, cultural and religious norms,” said Dr. Firdous Ashiq Awan, special assistant to the prime minister on information and broadcasting.
“The Muslim world has its own cultural heritage and values, but we are looking into western ones,”
According to Awan, the drama can enlighten and broaden the understanding of the history of Islam, especially among younger generations.
“I attended golden jubilee celebrations ceremony of the OIC (Organization of Islamic Cooperation) in Jeddah last week, where it was also discussed how to improve social, cultural and religious ties between member states by sharing media content,” she said, adding there was a special focus on using the media to improve the perception of Islam in the West and strengthen ties between OIC countries.
“It is also Prime Minister Imran Khan’s vision to share media content to counter Islamophobia and improve understanding of Islamic values,” Awan said.
PTV director for international relations, Shazia Sikander, who is also the head of this project, told Arab News that PTV is dubbing “Dirilis: Ertugrul” in Urdu as it has already secured all rights from TRT.
“PTV has got exclusive rights for dubbing and screening it in Pakistan,” she said, adding that the series is already on PTV’s dub stage, with voice actors selected carefully to make sure the historical drama will captivate to the audience.