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Ertugrul & Khilafat Movement: Pakistan’s longstanding association with Turkey

It is a question of long debate what impacts will the series leave on the culture of Pakistan. But it is certain that it will affect the socio, politico and economic makeup of Pakistan.

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Even though I haven’t watched the Drilis Ertugrul series, I can experience its culture shock. Especially, as a digital media creator, it amazes me how viral posts on this topic go. In just one year since Prime Minister Imran Khan has suggested Pakistanis to watch the show, the perception about Turkey and its history has been completely changed in the minds of the locals.

The people of Pakistan are now very sensitive about Ertugrul and Turkey. One nation has built home in the hearts of another nation – this is a paragon that even Goebbels can’t achieve.

Today, thanks to Ertugrul, we are more sympathetic to Turks than we were 100 years ago. I am afraid if, one day, Turkey is under war, would we send our forces there?

Turkish hero sets waves in Pakistan

Recently, the Ertugrul’s hero Engin Altan visited Pakistan and he became the most aired person. The media left no stone unturned to find or create relevant news. From scams to local celebrities getting jealous of the Turkish hero, we saw different fronts of fighting being opened. It is a question of long debate what impacts will the series leave on the culture of Pakistan. But it is certain that it will affect the socio, politico and economic makeup of Pakistan.

A few impacts have been discussed by Dr. Moeed Pirzada in his Vlog on YouTube. He draws the analogy of the popular Mahabharat series which was aired in late 1980s in India. The series became part of India’s religious, political and social narrative. It led to the rise of Hindu nationalism, and it culminated in the face of Narendra Modi.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gKAGPSwC6Xw

 

Read more:  Ertugrul’s Engin Altan cherishes ‘heroic’ welcome in Pakistan

Not the first time Pakistanis are ignited by something Turkish

But Ertugrul reminds me of the Khilafat Movement, for both of these aroused the sentiments of people of this region. Exactly 100 years back, there started a movement in the Indo-Pak subcontinent to save the Ottoman Caliphate which was under siege by Allied Powers after the First World War. The Muslims were afraid that their Holy Lands would now be ruled by Christians. As a part of Ummah and because Turkey was a Muslim country, the Muslims of India initiated a movement to keep the Ottoman Empire and the Muslim Holy Lands intact. However, the movement resulted in complete failure.

As a part of the protest, Indian Muslims resigned from their jobs, returned titles, boycotted courts and educational institutes, and refused to pay taxes. This ‘progressive, non-violent and non-cooperative’ policy was suggested by the movement’s leader, Mr. M. K Gandhi. From the first day, Mr. Mohammad Ali Jinnah had opposed the movement because he believed that it would only harm the Muslims. Muslims were unaware that it was mainly the Arab secessionists who were responsible for the defeat of the Ottoman Empire.

It is a question of long debate what impacts will the series leave on the culture of Pakistan. But it is certain that it will affect the socio, politico and economic makeup of Pakistan.

During this time, Indian ulemas declared India a Darul Harab (no place for religious practices), and asked Muslims to migrate to Afghanistan. Initially, the migrants were welcomed later the borders were closed resulting in loss of life and finance. Another catastrophic event took place at Jallianwala Bagh where General Dyer asked his soldiers to open fire at protestors causing 379 casualties.

Sacrificed all for nothing

So far no results could have been achieved, in fact, scores of Muslims were thrown into jails without legal facilities as the British government had authorized the Rowlatt Act. Finally, the killings in Chora Chori Incident in 1922 embittered the Hindu Muslim relations. Thereafter, Mr. M K Gandhi called off the movement.

The sentiments of Muslims were not taken into account by the British or its allies. Caliphate was abolished. Turkey became a secular country under Mr. Kamal Attaturk. The holy lands fell into the hands of those who had been fighting against the Turkish Sultan. Balfour Declaration, a promise of a land for jews, now could be realized in phases till 1948. But the Muslim leaders didn’t stop there; they sent a delegation to Turkey but it returned empty handed.

Read more: Turkey discovers 99 tonnes of gold from burial site of Ertugrul Gazi

The movement had failed as no objectives were achieved, and humiliating terms were imposed on Turkey. However, it proved that Islamic sentiments can be a mobilizing force. Extra-territorial movements such as Pan-Islamism can also be launched to further a cause.

Today, thanks to Ertugrul, we are more sympathetic to Turks than we were 100 years ago. I am afraid if, one day, Turkey is under war, would we send our forces there?

Fahad Aziz Taherani is a former Assistant Editor at Global Village Space (GVS) News Portal and Magazine. The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Global Village Space.

 

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