Turkish TV series a big hit in Kashmir; newborn named 'Ertugrul'

The signs of Kashmir striking its centuries-old cultural chord with Central Asia through famed Turkish TV series ‘Ertugrul’ are apparent with a newborn named after the lead character in the series.

It comes after numerous cellphones in Kashmir already abuzz with the TV series’ signature tune.

On June 2, pictures of an OPD ticket from GB Pant Hospital here mentioning an infant’s name as ‘Ertugrul’ – meaning ‘warrior bird’ in Turkish – went viral on social media. People see it as a sign of popularity of the TV series in the region.

On Wednesday, an official of the hospital confirmed to the Greater Kashmir that the newborn from Pulwama was seen by doctors on evening of June 2.

“The baby, a male child was brought to us by his parents at around 6:30 pm yesterday. Subsequently, his parents were advised to get his USG abdomen done. Later, the baby was discharged,” said an official of GB Pant Hospital.

The hospital records show that the newborn named ‘Ertugrul’ had medical registration number 101774 on June 2.

It mentions the newborn’s age as two years, however officials said that it was not his real age. “There was some error while mentioning his age at the counter. The doctors later corrected it. His actual age is 33 days,” said another official at the hospital.

Set in the early 13th century, the Turkish TV series dramatises Ertugrul’s mission to find a permanent homeland for his tribe – Kayi – while fighting Knights, Templers, Mongols, Byzantine Empire, Seljuk Governors and Generals as well as routing out traitors within his own tribe. The series includes epic fight scenes, nail-bitting plots and the love stories.

Currently into its fifth season, the series is based on life history of the Muslim Oghuz Turks. It centres around the life of Ertugrul, the father of Osman Ghazi, who was the founder of Ottoman Empire. The TV series has transcended cultural and geographical barriers and has been well received globally, including in Kashmir.

Created by Mehmet Bozdag, with its first episode released on December 2014, the series has actor Engin Altan Duzyatan as Dirilis Ertugrul in lead role.

The Ottoman Empire, known for its Islamic resurgence, at its peak controlled much of Middle East, North Africa, Central Asia and Southern Europe. The Ottoman Empire is considered as an important period of Islamic rule, along the major Islamic Caliphates including Rasidun Caliphate, Umayyad Caliphate and Abbasid Caliphate.

Muslims in Indian subcontinent have huge respect for Ottoman Empire historically, as Khilafat Movement in the 20th century was solely organised in defense of the empire during Second World War.

The TV series has been translated into more than 25 languages including English and Urdu. The popularity of the TV series can be gauged from the fact that its Urdu translation by PTV has 4.5 million subscribers only on Youtube, particularly after Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan requested the country’s official broadcaster to translate the famed TV series.

With COVID19 pandemic forcing people across the globe to stay home, most Kashmiris these days can be heard saying ‘Eyvallah’!.