By Shehar Bano Khan
The martyrdom of Bamsi Bey in the Turkish drama series, Kurulus Osman, is one of the top ten trends on Twitter in Pakistan. Why it has become a focal point on social media, eludes logic. Frankly, the man was not immortal and had to die one day, but his death has caused quite a stir in Pakistan, a country all too willing to piggyback on another country’s history.
As if the identity crisis already besieging Pakistanis was not enough, our prime minister, Mr Imran Khan, turned into a cultural ambassador of Turkey and exhorted all Pakistanis to follow the struggles of Ertugrul Ghazi.
From Diliris Ertugrul to Kurulus Osman, most of the Pakistanis watching the historically tampered Turkish drama series are either flying off to Turkey or foraging through their genetic pool to rewire with the Central Asian Turkic tribes. The terms Kinik and Kayi, the former tribe established the Seljuk empire while the latter founded the Sultanat-e-Usmania, are proudly trumpeted as the bedrock of Islam and Islamic culture.
To all those who associate Islam with the Seljuks or Sultanat-e-Usmania, the time to yank them out of this stupor has become a cultural, political and somewhat moral obligation. Let us deconstruct some of the salient features of these Turkish semi-historical dramas.
Not only are these dramas retrogressive, corralling women as heir producing stock, whose worth is gauged by the number of sons borne, they also reaffirm that male superiority should Never be questioned. Mr Recep Erdogan, president of Turkey, should seriously reevaluate the gender disparity shown in these inverted dramas, leading to fratricide and the ghettoisation of women cooped up in harems. — PAK DESTINY
Shehar Bano Khan is a journalist and a research-based writer, specialising in interrogating the banal.