ISLAMABAD: Pakistan and Turkey are considering working on a joint project to produce a historical TV series, according to an official statement issued by Pakistani premier’s office.
Prime Minister Imran Khan on Thursday discussed the proposal with leading Turkish director Kemal Tekden and his team, who met with Khan at his office in Islamabad.
Tekden, who directed the popular Turkish TV series Resurrection: Ertugrul, arrived in Pakistan on a five-day visit earlier Thursday.
Khan welcomed the Turkish team and praised their work for producing the historic Ertugrul series, according to the statement.
The two sides also discussed the proposed joint TV series dubbed Turk Lala, which is to highlight the role played by Muslims of the sub-continent during the Balkan War.
Lala, in the Pashto language, refers to “elder brother,” and the series would highlight the role of Muslims from the sub-continent who went to Turkey in 1920 and fought against the imperialist forces.
Most of the Muslims who helped the Turkish side travelled from present-day Pakistan under the Khilafat Movement flag — a campaign to support the Ottoman Empire in the early 20th century.
Turkey and Pakistan enjoy historic relations thanks to the help extended during Turkey’s War of Liberation.
The meeting was also attended by Information Minister Senator Shibli Faraz, Kashmir Committee Chairman Shehryar Afridi and leading actors from the Turkish and Pakistani film industries.
Afridi briefed the premier on the proposed series and said Turk Lala played an important role in the Khilafat Movement.
He was referring Abdur Rehman Peshawari, who held the distinction of becoming one of the very first reporters of Anadolu Agency when it was founded in the early 1920s.
Born in 1886 in Peshawar, the capital of Pakistan’s Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, to the wealthy Samdani family, Peshawari abandoned his studies to join the people’s mission to help Turkey during the Balkan war.
“This series [Turk Lala] will educate our younger generation about our heroes,” Afridi said and highlighted the importance of Turk Lala in Turkey and his role in the Khilafat Movement.
Tekden lauded Khan’s move to broadcast Turkish dramas on state-run Pakistani Television.
“Both Prime Minister Khan and Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan have the same vision that youth could play an important role in the development of any country and they [youth] must be educated about their history and culture,” Tekden said.
“We observe June 30 every year as a national day in respect of Turk Lala in Turkey,” he added.
Highlighting the proposed series, he said it would create a new chapter in the historic relationship between Pakistan and Turkey and youths of both countries would learn about the historical role of their heroes.
Speaking on the occasion, Khan said: “Ertugrul has gained much popularity in Pakistan because of its story.”
He said Pakistani dramas and films were very popular across the world until the 1980s.
“When Muslims were ruling the sub-continent… it was a golden age of our history. But unfortunately, our younger generation do not know about it,” Khan said.
He proposed to produce more TV series on that “golden era and also counter the propaganda.”
Last month, Khan publicly recommended that people should watch Yunus Emre: Askin Yolculugu to explore their interest in Sufism.
The blockbuster series is being broadcast under the title Raah-e-Isahq, meaning Path to Love, with Urdu dubbing on Pakistan Television, already having attracted a large viewership.
It follows the record-breaking historical drama Resurrection: Ertugrul which has taken Pakistanis by storm.
Already becoming a household name in the South Asian country, Ertugrul has set yet another record as its Urdu YouTube channel last week reached nearly 11 million subscribers.