Turkish Drama

Only for "idiots" ...

and sometimes "adults"

Turkish drama abandoned many caveats early according to its classifications, so it had a long and influential experience in the internal environment among Turks in particular which made it very important for Turkish decision-makers, for its ability to direct public opinion. Therefore, its junctures were compatible with the political project whether in the early stages in support of Turkish nationalism and rooting the general principles determined by politics, or partisan fluctuations according to their circulation and transformations.
Since (2001 AD) in which the extremist party “Justice and Development” was established in Turkey; its plans to control and direct Turkish drama as per its political interests began, and these plans were made in stages to be implemented and utilized.
First stage

This stage began after the “Justice and Development” took power in (2003 AD), whereby the focus was on the Turkish dramatic revolution and broadcasting it outside its Turkish borders, specifically in the Arab world, when its access was facilitated by the supported dubbing, and presented to the most famous Arab satellite channels. During this phase, the visual media in the Arab world did not notice that it was establishing a deep link between the Arab viewer and Turkish drama, and promoted this culture with its plot and high production capabilities which was taking a high budget from the expenses of the ruling party. 

However, the dramatic goals were not clear at its start; it focused on plot, displaying artistic capabilities, and highlighting the Turkish stars to be heroes in Arab taste. Therefore, its goal had a wide and extended resonance among some Arab societies, until it was reflected on the visits of these stars to some Arab capitals, to work, simulate and support it. Then, celebrations were held for them, the fans attended and millions were paid, especially in the most admiring capitals of Turkish dramas and projects.

In addition, to emphasize the achievement of the dramatic impact in Arab societies, companies specializing in dubbing Turkish dramas into Arabic were established, which created a wide and diversified spread on Arab satellite channels. Despite the reaction of focusing on the emotional content and its repercussions on societies, their dramas became more popular.

Second Stage
After the Key results of Turkish drama were achieved in the Arab world since (2003 AD), the political goal has become more urgent in the plans of the ruling party in Turkey. To illustrate, in (2011 AD) the first well planned and directed dramatic work performed, the series “The Sultan’s Harem”, in a double way to connect the viewers and at the same time to achieve the stereotype that the party wants to put in the front.
In other words, it contains a great momentum of dramatic and emotional stories targeted almost all segments of society, in addition to the historical image that serves the Turkish project in an attempt to portray the Ottoman state as an Islamic state which is far from its ethnic reality as well as its inferior view of the Arabs. Hence, Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent, the protagonist, was presented in the Turkish and Arab mentality, as a romantic and just man. Although the dramatic plot dealt with the killing he committed against innocent people, the context did not depict him but a remorseful who killed with the intention of preserving his country order, at the same time, influenced by his affection for his Russian maid (Hurrem). Yet after this series, Suleiman became a symbol of love, heroism and politics.
Undoubtedly, partisan politics was convinced of the ability of drama to influence and its quick spread among the targeted segments, the Arabs were at the top of which, in order to be an easy-to-penetrate world for accepting the Ottoman Turkish culture and convincing it of the historical control of the Turkish race.
Third stage
Malicious Result
After the objectives of the second phase have been achieved, the atmosphere became ready for the third that was more daring and falsifying history. It represented by the production of a dramatic work lasted for five years from (2014 AD) to (2019 AD) serialized in long parts, the series “Ertugrul resurrection”. Indeed, Turkish historical drama portrayed the father of the founder of the Turkish Ottoman Emirate in an idealistic image, and dealt with him as a Muslim, while Turkish historians themselves proved he was pagan.
The Boldness of the series was evident, in addition to the counterfeiting Ertugrul’s Islam, it was more explicit in representing the Sufism of the Ottomans by linking the main character to Muhyiddin Ibn Arabi Al-Sufi; served as a good man who has prophecies, and is able to change destinies in many scenes.

They started with the lie of “Ertugrul" and followed by "Othman".

Therefore, the series was increasingly popular and influenced greatly in the Arab world, backed by the political wing of the movement in the Arab world in support of the Turkish Brotherhood policy represented. Moreover, the close follow-up made by Turkish President Erdogan who boasts of attending the filming locations of the series. 

In order for the series to become acceptable, with its polytheism, Sufi manifestations and shamanic rituals; the voices of the radical Islamists, who belong to the terrorist Muslim Brotherhood, were recruited, and they became part of the series’ marketing process, as it achieved many of their goals in disrupting Arab politics and empowering Turkish penetration.

Furthermore, the “Ertugrul Resurrection” coincided with the production of the series “Abd Al-Hamid II” in (2017 AD), it is directly related to the achievement of political goals as well. However, it did not reap the fruits like “Ertugrul”. This is because Abdul Hamid is still linked to the Arab mentality with his authoritarian policy as he was even called the “Red Sultan”, in addition to that he was known to have adhered to the Islamic project with the aim of establishing his sultanate and saving his ailing country.

Abdul Hamid II: No one succeeded.

Fourth Stage
The current politicized Turkish drama wanted to highlight the successes in the Arab community, but it was met with the reaction of Arab balance in rejecting and exposing this method. Therefore, the organizers of the series “Ottoman Resurrection” – which is an extension of the “Ertugrul Resurrection” did not expect its catastrophic failure, as a result of increasing the awareness of the Arab audience, and revealing the true goals of these dramas to confirm the Turkish penetration. Particularly, since the Arab now sees Arab blood was shed by the hands of the Turks in Libya, Syria and Iraq while they show themselves as the first heroes.
Then, the fourth stage of the dramatic policy suffered a real setback, so the productive capacities retreated with it, especially Turkey’s economic suffering as a result of its expansionist policy amid the rejection of the whole world, for being exposed in front of everyone as its real dark image. This is evidenced by the lack of productive energy of the last work “Othman Resurrection “, despite the fact that they chose for him one of their most influential artists in the Arab world, “Burak”, who has romantic characteristics.

“Kingdoms of Fire” Author Writes for “WHITE INK”:

"Arabs" must give way to the makers of historical dramas

Ideas, such as prevention, boycott and confiscation, do not get along with the current time. In the 1990s, we purport that the world had become a small village, but today the world has become narrower than a small street inside the village. If we reach out across the world and do not enter into competitions in a huge, important and influential market, such as dramatic production, we shall lose who we are and turn into a laughing stock or may extinct such as dinosaurs.
This is neither cruelty, nor self-flagellation, but rather another attempt to terminate the slumber, neglect, and convenience. We have banned Turkish dramas on our screens for years, so what did we gain?!

On the other hand, we created one series to confront the Turkish intellectual and cultural invasion over our children’s minds. Is this enough?! 

We did not benefit anything by negative resistance, because the Turkish series has many followers and displayed on other display platforms and screens indicating that it is a good product to have the ability to compete internationally. The makers of Turkish series have made the utmost effort with sincerity and dedication.

On art or industry, the Egyptian proverb says: “Let an expert handle the job even if it will cost you much”. We have been giving the opportunity to the unqualified persons to undertake a difficult and complex task, such as drama making. The manufacturer differs from the merchant and the manufacturer cannot do without the merchant and vice versa, but each of them has its own field. When a manufacturer works in trade, he cannot sell his product or mostly will fail miserably in buying and selling. The cow is not able to sell its milk, it’s obvious.

Our resistance against Turkish drama is still negative and one action is not enough to face its systematic invasion.

But when the merchant works in the industry (with the merchant’s vision only), then it is so alarming Here, cleverness comes at the account of proficiency, and numbers (quantity) replace (quality), and the bright and shiny form becomes more important than the deep strong content. 

The pests of the drama industry still inhabit the roots of our business as a chronic mold, the star is the most important thing, the one who is bought by the channel and he is the one that advertisements come in his name, and then space is opened for the star to intervene and take control, and all work team becomes cogs in a machine making his name and stardom, his dreams are orders and his requests are answered, The sale has taken a place as soon as he signed the contract, in a manner that the producer takes it with him to publish it on the social media, as for making the series itself, it is indisputable. How can we make a drama that competes on a global or even regional level – in the light of this inverted cart system?!

We do not lack cadres for writing, acting, directing, decorating, filming, music, etc. we lack the system of rules, and whenever we talk, we have angered industrialists (or trade, to be more precise) who have been accustomed to working and reaping profits in this way, indifferent to the final result that will be a great depression, certainly the wheel of dramatic production will stop sooner or later.

By all accounts, any unprofitable trade is a failed trade, and no one is claiming the workers in this sector to lose. Art is a controversial issue which its subject is not making a profitable drama, except in the margins. It may tolerate adventure if the system is profitable originally. Under profit and loss from a purely economic perspective (business), we see today that Turkish drama has returned to occupy our screens, after Arabizing it using Arab actors and cadres, not just dubbing it, as it used to happen in the past. We see the Turkish series occupying Arab platforms that follow the new ones and their viewing rates in Turkey, their rise and fall and admitted by the viewers in our Arab region greatly.

As if we had not done anything, the global market will remain subject to the law of supply and demand, and the famous global platforms displaying original works made in Turkey raise a lot of concerns and questions regarding our damaged industrial mechanisms. The business at the beginning and at the end is the guaranteed means for intellectual, cultural, and political conquest.

We have said it over and over and here we are repeating it, making one single historical series is not enough to face the torrent of similar Turkish works, and the Arab region must rise and give the makers the opportunity to re-read history for viewers of all ages and categories, only if we aspire to compete, and construct national security and cultural lines around our societies in front of the continuous dramatic invasion, so that we may survive.

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The Chronological Disparity Between
Two Stereotypes of the Ottoman History

Arab Drama Was


by the Presence of
"Turkish” Drama

Recently, Turkish drama has been in intense conflict with Arab drama over a limited period of time. Where Turkish drama became active in the post 2000s period by invading Arab television with its dubbed masterpieces, which created a stereotype that is consistent with the political approach. Contrarily, the Arab-Egyptian drama began to show the true stereotype of Turkish Ottomans through a dramatic set of works. However, since the Arab actions were almost decades earlier, that made them out of the mind of Arab audience in light of the presence of Turkish drama. 

The Egyptian art critic, Rami El-Metwally, says about that: “With the beginning of the age of satellite televisions and the openness to different cultures, the preferences of viewers and audience of television drama have changed; from Mexican drama to Spanish drama , then Turkish and Indian dramas, yet the greatest impact was by the dubbed Turkish drama into Arabic, which has been very widespread and Popular at the beginning as a romantic social drama and then by its historical and political series; the most notably one was “Valley of the Wolves” with its several series, which glorified the Turkish security and intelligence services, as well as the heads of organized crime who are the major powers in the Turkish sphere”; furthermore, he asserts that the Turkish drama has become a propaganda trumpet for current Turkish President, Erdogan, and his ambitions to the resources of the Arab region, and emulating his dreams of the return of the Turkish, so called, Islamic caliphate.

The Egyptian critic Rami El-Metwally: “The Kingdoms of Fire" exposed Ottoman massacres against Arabs.

Moreover, Al-Metwally argues that Turkish dramas and series have become an essential arm for the Turkish regime that seeks to glorify the early founders of the Ottoman State, whether Ertgerl or Salim I, and it gave them legendary traits, as well as was the same with the last of the Ottoman sultans, Abd al-Hamid II. Also, he states that “All of these series present them on the screen as some angels and human beings that possess human qualities, administer justice and they were not abuse, yet defend themselves; in contrast, these matters were irrelevant to the reality. In the end, they were occupation forces; thus, the title of Caliph of the Muslims and Prince of the Faithful was just a usurped title that held by the ripper Salim I after his occupation to Egypt; and the abdication of the title by the Abbasid Caliph, who was living in Egypt for a fictitious position”. 

On the other hand, Arab drama was dealing with what is Ottoman and Turkish with a lot of contempt. Where the Turkish and Ottoman characters in the Arab series were mostly negative characters with cruel, violent and unjust behavior. Therefore, the critic, Rami El-Metwally, points out that “that character was usually portrayed as a rough person that walking and holding a whip, speaking a broken language and pronouncing Arabic in a funny way; as the Turk image in the Arab drama is a stereotype that shows evil and injustice; so the Turkish title Pasha became notorious and an indicative of corruption”.

In addition, Rami El-Metwally mentioned that one of the first Arab drama works that addressed the Turkish character in the drama was the Egyptian series “Marid Al-Jabal” i. e. the defiant of mountain, about which he says that: “One of the first works that addressed the Ottoman occupation, where it was presented in (1977 AD), directed by Noor El-Demerdash and the scenario of Sannia Qara’a; and starring of a vast number of stars, including Noor el Sherif, who was the young man that was fighting for freedom and holed up in the mountain adjacent to his village in Upper Egypt. Where the events of the series take place in the period involving the conflict between the Ottoman governor, Ali Bek al-Kabir that his role in the series was presented by Ahmed Maher and the people of the village along with their Sheikh. Because of the injustice inflicted on Ahmed bin Shabib (Noor el Sharif) by his rival, Rawas (Mustafa Mutuali), for the love of Zeina (Leila Hamada); Ahmed became one of the wanted persons that fled to the mountain and he revolted against all of the unjust conditions, including the Turks and the oppressors of his village”.
He adds that, “According to the popular biography in drama, that Arab stereotype towards the Turks was repeated in the “Ali Al-Zeebaq” series, in 1985, as the character of “Ali” was presented by Farouk Al-Fishawi and his two rivals; Lieutenant Colonel Sanqur Al-Kalbi (Abu Bakr Ezzat) and Lieutenant-Colonel Dalila (Laila Fawzy); it was about a struggle mainly was between the protagonist and the Turkish Mamelukes, while the Ottoman State was totally absent, as it was sending a Wali, i. e. governor, or was sending a fireman, i.e. resolution without any actual presence as an occupier”. Here, he emphasizes that the drama has rectified this historical reality by placing the Turkish image in its realistic place as an occupier and colonizer of the Arab region for centuries.

The drama works that were time-barred have paved the way for "Turkish” drama to establish its image in the Arab mind.

Further, El-Metwally traced the stereotype of Turks in the Egyptian drama: “The 1990s period witnessed television dramas that clearly portrayed the Ottoman State as an occupier, and that was the cause of the demolition of Cairo as an instance through murder, torture and theft of its human resources and manpower. In addition to the “Arabesque” series (in 1994 AD) as in its first episode presented the Arabesque artist Hassan Al-Nu`mani, the grandfather, who made for the Ottoman Sultan his throne as a masterpiece. “Hassan” was one of the skilled craftsmen who were taken by the forces of the Othman family to the capital, Astana, to work there as craftsmen, while Cairo was remained without its skilled workers and the elders of its craftsmen, as this is a clear condemnation to the Ottoman occupier by the screenwriter, Osama Anwar Okasha, in (1995 AD), “Al-Zaini Barakat” series was presented, and it addressed the period before the Ottoman occupation. The screenwriter, “Muhammad al-Sayed Eid”, showed, through Gamal Al-Ghitani’s novel of the same title, the treachery that led the Ottomans to occupy Egypt. Sultan Tuman Bey (Riyadh Al-Khouly) presented as a national hero who led the army to resist the occupation; however, the betrayal of many persons, including “al Zaini Barakat” (Ahmed Badir), paved the way for the Ottomans to enter Egypt on the account of the resistance”. 

In conclusion, Rami said that: “However, the most significant series that exposed the Ottomans, their massacres and their dirty works in the region and Egypt was by “The Kingdoms of Fire” series that was presented in the year of (2019 AD). That series highlighted the bloody and occupation of Salim I, his lies and attempts to present his occupation to Egypt and the Levant as an Islamic conquest. As the series addressed a parallel presentation of the rise of Salim and Toman Bey to power, their paths to the throne, and their personal characters based on a lot of historical sources. Therefore, it presented clearly what the Ottoman State did, through the series, and what it did to destroy Egypt and caused to bring it to the ages of ignorance and underdevelopment. It used the sword against everyone, imposed taxes and jizya and did not care for any development due to a weakness that appeared as a power of its rulers; as they were concerned of conspiracies, on the account of their care for the countries that they occupied”.