Ertuğrul Fever and the Distance of our Souls

 (resurrection: Ertuğrul) has not been in fever of Major Muslims and non-Muslim
viewers until the epic Turkish Historical series wrecked the internet in
Pakistan early May this year. The drama depicts 13
th century life of
Ertugrul, the father of Osman I who was the future founder of Ottoman Empire. It
soars heavily after Imran Khan, the Prime Minister who was in quarantine during
the covid-19, urged his citizen to watch the series. The sensation led to a
talk between Pakistani and Turkish film industry for a joint production.

What comes after such hype is the search for artificial
connections with the casts that steal the crimson hearts of millions Muslim viewers,
only to find that in reality they are not in the radar of Islamic expectation, with lovely
hair expose and bare skin photos, for instance. The brokenhearted leave enormous comments. Although many appreciate, many more can’t help but expressing disappointment and judgmentally religious.   

Viewers comment on Esra Bilgic's IG
Viewers comment on Esra Bilgic’s IG


Well, nothing to be surprised about, considering
the nature of technologies transcending the diversity of its users’ natural
condition such as geography (city or villages), the cultures, the faith, and
the history. 

Not only the Pakistanis but also Muslim Worldwide, including common Indonesian and Malaysian viewers, for they understood that Turkey is still acting
caliphate that stands to Islamic values.

In this case the audience whose comment
snapped above probably not so much up-to-date to the revolution that had
befallen the caliphate and transformation happened after. It just the same like
how not up-to-date are Turkish people on other Muslim world, that Turkish
language is no longer used in 1/3 of the Muslims World; that other Muslim world
is okay with music, singing, make up, and decoration of their homes with crafted
creature statue which sensitive for the Turkish Muslims; that some other Muslim
world live in a tropical geography bounds to have a fully different Islamic
culture or way of life.

This is probably related to stereotype
too. It is just like the white Christian and agnostic European being portrayed as the savior avengers, Turkey has that kind of Islamic appeal, stereotyped as pious and protectors as well, which finds opponents among her own people, just like how white European and the Turks consciously and unconsciously imagine dark skin societies, especially migrants whether legal
or not, as poor, illiterate, or not Islamic enough. Both the secular circles and Muslim ones share this ideas, one or the other.   

I witnessed my-self in Istanbul Ataturk Airport last year where groups of Indonesian travelers were queuing for immigration check-in.
This was pilgrimage group waiting several days in Turkey before flying to
Mecca. They were in shoes, many in flip flops, although deemed fancy ones. Some
of them, due to the long distant journey got some unpleasant odors and messed
up with their worn out bags. They were loud, conversing and singing with their lipstick on, trying to kill the fatigue from overlong human ques. They don’t have educated European
style of body language and posture.

On another occasion, there were Indians, also transiting for hajj, who
were checking in a hotel. As usual, it is normal that hotels in Turkey own some dogs,
wandering around playfully. It was just a reflex for these Syafi’i sunni Muslim
(I guess) to get startled and avoid abruptly the incoming. 

As commonly
outspoken are Turkish people, few rude words lingered beside massive stare,
marking the two views I mentioned above.

Another case, especially when the critics in
the comment are only directed to female actress, I think it is just generally
the way Muslim men view the the idealistic of Islamic women. I feel pity for the
actress. She is obviously not in the barrier of the faith. And this kind of
views towards women, whether Muslim or not, should stop, unless with consent. Rather than dictating
to cover up, It’s way better to lead through good example; mutual interaction
and understanding till the will arrive on its own.  

What viewers probably can’t understand too is
the market value of the series which strengthened by universal attraction. Not
only the plot is presumably inclusive to all human values but also the
popularity and liberalism of the casts contributed to its rocketing success. That’s
why it does not intentionally serve Islamic agenda.

However Ertugrul does resonates with what
missing among the Pakistanis, Indian and other Muslim worlds, particularly those torn by war for ages and live in damaged social and political fabrics. That is the feeling of belonging and owning a savior who stands for the
poor and the oppressed, as well known Pakistani film and TV critics, Sadaf
Haider said for al Jazeera. 


Silakan masukkan komentar anda!
Silakan masukkan nama Anda di sini

More articles ―