The world-famous Turkish drama based on Islamic conquests, Dirilis Ertugrul, also known as Ertugrul Ghazi, is now gaining popularity in Pakistan.
Ertugrul Ghazi has been airing on Pakistan Television (PTV) since the first of Ramadan and so far 14 episodes of Season One have been aired.
The popularity of the drama can be gauged from the fact that in just 15 days since the first episode was uploaded, 1 million people have subscribed to the YouTube channel while the first episode has been watched by more than 12.7 million people.
In addition, the popularity of the play is also reflected in the trends that have been running on social media since the release of Dirilis Ertugrul.
Riaz Manti, director of Turkish Radio and Television (TRT) digital radio and TV, who is also the head of the TRT team that assisted PTV in airing the drama in Pakistan, said something about Ertugrul Ghazi.
In an interview with the BBC's Urdu service, he described his views on adapting Ertugrul Ghazi to the audience in Pakistan and his growing popularity since its broadcast.
Riaz Manti said that the drama was already very successful in Turkey, but later came to Netflix with Arabic and English subtitles and became internationally popular.
He said that after coming to Netflix, Ertugrul was engulfed in a world. In countries like Africa, Ertugrul cafes are open and Ertugrul is the reason why tourists started heading to Turkey for historical tours.
"When Ertugrul Ghazi was successful on Netflix, we decided to release it on YouTube in different languages," said Riaz Manti.
"We started releasing dramas on YouTube with English and Arabic dubbing and so far it has been released in Spanish, Russian and some episodes in Kiswahili," he said.
The head of the TRT team said that the Urdu translation of Ertugrul Ghazi was already included in his plans as he was sure that the drama would be very popular among Urdu speakers.
Continuing his speech, Riaz Manti said that when he got the opportunity to collaborate with PTV, it became a matter of broadcasting it in the Urdu language as both of them are government media companies, so it became a natural relationship between them. ۔
Riaz Manti said that Turkish dramas are very popular all over the world and Turkish dramas are the most-watched in the world after English.
He said that Ertugrul Ghazi further increased the popularity of Turkish dramas and his story made a place in the hearts of people all over the world.
Talking about the content of the play, he said that TRT always tries to create content that can be watched and enjoyed with the family, so I feel that the reason for the popularity of Ertugrul in Pakistan. It is the same.
Asked about the reaction of the audience after the drama was aired in Pakistan, Riaz Manti said, "I got such a good response that I can't describe it. PTV has done a great job in terms of dubbing and broadcasting."
He said that when it comes to TRT, Urdu is one of the fastest-growing channels in our digital offering.
Riaz Manti said that Ertugrul went viral in Pakistan as soon as he saw it and the next day his episodes are trending on YouTube in Pakistan.
Regarding the international acceptance of the play, he said that Ertugrul Ghazi has been viewed 500 billion times globally.
"In the last year, wherever our teams have gone in the world, we have seen Kai flags in homes and shops. Some people have Ertugrul hats on their heads and Ertugrul rings on their fingers," he said.
Riaz Manti said that such widespread acceptance was the result of the hard work of the playwrights and their creators. Dirilis Ertugrul created a global tribe, a story whose characters people around the world see for themselves.
He said the lockdown, which was imposed to curb the spread of the coronavirus, had also led to a further increase in the number of spectators in a few months.
Continuing, he said that in these difficult times when people are locked in their homes, most companies demand money to access their content, so TRT has posted some content on YouTube to help people. I decided to upload.
Riaz Manti said that at the same time we have translated other shows in different languages and uploaded them on YouTube and very soon all these dramas will also be available in the Urdu language.
"We are surprised, but so far we have not received any negative feedback," he said.
He said that Ertugrul Ghazi has a five-star rating on Google and in this regard, the statistics tell their own story but the only complaint people have with us is why the drama is being delayed.