During the ninth and tenth centuries, the nomadic Turkic Oghuz tribes formed a state in the Aral Sea region in the areas of north Caspian. They gradually moved to central Asia from their original homeland in the Altai mountains in the western Mongolia. They then migrated southward in search of pastures and appeared at Anatolia (present day Turkey). The Oghuz consisted of 24 tribes, some moved to Anatolia, and one tribe Ghaur to present day Afghanistan, where it founded the Ghaurid Empire. In 1037, the Seljuk Empire was founded that included Mesopotamia, Syria, Palestine and most of Iran. By 1070, the Seljuks under Arsalan defeated the Byzantine army at the decisive battle of Manzikert. It was during this time the way was open for Turkic tribes to settle in Anatolia, for those who remained loyal to Seljuks.

The Kayi tribe under Ertugrul, son of Suleiman Shah, also settled in the area and remained loyal to Seljuk Sultan Alauddin. In view of his support and counter attacks on Mongols, Crusaders and the Byzantine army, he was made frontier chief of border. Later, Ertugrul was made feudatory chief of the district Sogut with the mission to defend borders with Byzantine. Osman, son of Ertugrul, is considered founder of the Ottoman Empire and his name is held in the highest esteem by Turks to this day. The Ottomans reached the zenith of their glory during the time of Suleiman the Magnificent (1520-1566), the greatest of the Ottoman sultans. The Ottoman Empire maintained its sovereign existence for over six centuries and it was considered the greatest power of the world. In the subcontinent, the first prominent Turk was Mahmud of Ghazni, a Mamluk. He was the first one to enter India in 1000 AD and broke the military strength of Hindus. Shahbuddin Ghauri, another Turk, established the first Muslim empire in India in 1193 after defeating Prithvi Raj. Ghauri set up the Slave dynasty, and was the real founder of Islam in subcontinent. Slaves were replaced by Khiljis (Turks), then Tughluqs (Turks,) who belonged to Qarauna tribe of the Turks. According to the book the History of India, Lane Poole writes that “the real Mohammadan conquerors of India were not Arab but Turks”.

Recently PTV has started showing popular Turkish series “Resurrection of Ertugrul” described as Turkish game of thrones dubbed into Urdu language. The drama consisting of five seasons, is based on 13th century Turks and the life of Ertugrul, son of Suleiman Shah, who paved the way for the foundation of the Ottoman Empire. The drama shows the medieval campaigns waged by Muslim Turks against Crusaders, the Byzantine army and Mongols and subsequent Muslims victories. The drama has far reaching popularity and took the international audience by storm. It is especially popular in the Middle East, Africa, America and Asia. It has been watched in more than 85 countries, in over 25 languages. The drama keeps the audience on the edge of their seats and it is a good entertaining series with a captivating storyline. Venezuela’s President Maduro is a fan as well and was seen wearing the hat of a Turkish warrior during his visit to Turkey.

The drama is a response to the Hollywood and Bollywood movies where Muslims are shown as bloodthirsty and barbaric. This is evident from the recent released movies by India such as “Padmavaat” where Allauddin Khilji, a Turk, was portrayed as a savage contrary to historical facts. In another movie titled “Panipat”, Ahmed Shah Abdali, the founder of Durrani Empire in Afghanistan and the one who defeated the Maratha army, has been portrayed as barbaric and vicious. Aim of these movies is to malign Muslim rulers and warriors as extremist and savage based on Indian Hindu’s spin on historical events. This is a brazen attempt to rewrite history and creating historical narratives to fit into RSS/BJP fascist ideology.

The drama “Resurrection of Ertugrul” has been banned in some of the countries of Middle East where it is being seen as Turkey’s quest to revive Ottoman Empire. Egypt Dar Al-Iftaa accused Turkey of trying to influence people of Middle East to revive the Ottoman Empire and regain sovereignty over Arab countries, which were previously under Ottoman rule. The drama is also popular in IOK. According to a report in Print India, “Dirilis Ertugrul” is traveling from one household to another in flash drives circumventing a government effort to stop local cable operators from contents produced by Muslim countries such as Turkey, Malaysia and Pakistan. Prime Minister Imran Khan recommended broadcasting the Turkish series to Pakistani audience and according to him, it will make youth learn about Islamic values, history and ethics. The drama has broken popularity records in the country. The drama rightly glorifies Muslim heroes, Islamic history and ethics. Maximum reference has been made of Quran and Hadith, stories of Prophet, and most significantly, from the life of the Holy Prophet (SAW). A lot of emphasis is also placed on teaching and sayings of Hazrat Ali (RA). The main lessons are trust in Allah the Almighty, establishment of justice and never giving up. It is clean, excellent, close to reality and nature, which is spiritually motivational and enlightening. It is a must watch.