Ertugrul gets a statue in Lahore

Ertugrul gets a statue in Lahore

At present, there are two statues that depict Ertugrul on a horse, the second will be called Ertugrul Ghazi Chowk.
07 Jun, 2020

The community members of an area in Lahore are so smitten by the Turkish television series, based on the character of Ertugrul, that they have paid a tribute to him by erecting a statue in their neighbourhood.

The TV series, Ertugrul Ghazi, originally Dirilis: Ertugrul in Turkish is being aired on the Pakistan Television in Urdu language and has been endorsed by Prime Minister Imran Khan himself.

The warrior in the statue in the Maraghzar Housing Scheme situated along the Multan Road is seen carrying a sword and riding a horse.

Muhammad Shahzad Cheema, the president of the Maraghzar Housing Scheme, says he decided to erect the statues of Ertugrul after some of the residents floated the idea of paying a tribute to him. Giving details of the project, he says these special statues have been made using fibre and metal in the city of Kamalia of Toba Tek Singh district.

“I won’t mention the cost of these statues; otherwise, their value would get the attention of the public,” Cheema laughs. “I went to Kamalia myself to place the order for these statues.”

At present, there are two statues that depict Ertugrul on a horse. One of them has been unveiled while the other is going to be erected soon possibly at a central place.

“We will call the place Ertugrul Ghazi Chowk,” says Sohail Anwar Rana, the secretary general of the scheme, referring to the location where the first statue has been unveiled.

Cheema says that while the entire country was enjoying the TV series and got acquainted with the historical figure after watching the show, he already knew about him. “I had read about him beforehand,” asserts Cheema.

“What has affected me most about this character is the way he united the entire tribe and formed the Ottoman Empire – this is something that the world’s anti-Muslim community cannot digest. Our kids may enjoy the show, but they should be able to also see him in artistic depiction – something physical they can marvel at”.

Who is Ertugrul?

Not much is known about Ertugrul from 13th century as there is a lack of authentic information about him. Even name of his father comes in two different versions, Suleyman Shah and Gunduz Alp. What is authentically known about him is that he was father of Osman I, the founder of Ottoman Empire. Most of information about him comes from the stories about him written during the Ottoman Empire about a century later.

Pervaiz Hoodbhoy in his column in this newspaper has quoted Mehmet Bozdag, thewriter and producer of the TV series, saying, “Facts are not important. There is very little information about the period we are presenting — not exceeding 4-5 pages. Even the names are different in every source. The first works written about the establishment of the Ottoman State were about 100-150 years later. There is no certainty in this historical data… we are shaping a story by dreaming”.

When asked about the accurate depiction of Ertugrul, Cheema does not give it much importance, saying that it does not matter because writers tend to take liberty through artistic licence, especially in TV programmes and movies. But what should be kept in mind is that under the Ottoman Empire, more than 30 countries were united – something that is a food for thought for the Muslims today, he says.

Reaction to Statue

Ever since the unveiling of the statue, it has become a centre of attention of the people who have started gathering around hit to stand and stare at it or even to take selfies with it. But not all historical figures are seen in the same way, especially by those who revere Ertugrul.

A similar statue of Sikh Emperor Maharaja Ranjit Singh, who founded the Punjab Empire and ruled parts of, what is now Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, was unveiled last year in the Lahore Fort.

However, just a few days after its unveiling, it was vandalised by members of an extremist religious organisation.

The people like Cheema though have a different perspective.

“As Muslims we should not give regard to Ranjit Singh as his rule led to antagonism against the Muslims,” he says, waiving aside the fact that the emperor, who hailed from Gujranwala, was one of the most important in the history of the land.

*Originally published in Dawn, June 7th, 2020**


bhaRAT© Jun 07, 2020 01:20pm
Good to have this as a symbol of friendship with Turkey.
Ps Jun 07, 2020 01:28pm
Omg, watched this serial. Full of treachery and violence. ... so much that it makes you loose trust in humanity. Wonder how can that be called culture.
Bushra Peerni Jun 07, 2020 02:12pm
Soon all Pakistanis will start saying that they are Turkish origins.
SATT Jun 07, 2020 02:32pm
Now Pakistanis will keep their children's name Ertugrul.
Aman Jun 07, 2020 02:50pm
Well done, well deserved!
Shakeel Mahota Jun 07, 2020 03:13pm
basking in other's glories...
JustSaying Jun 07, 2020 03:15pm
"The community members of an area in Lahore are so smitten by the Turkish television series, based on the character of Ertugrul, that they have paid a tribute to him by erecting a statue in their neighbourhood..." They are Smitten by everything Foreign (specially Arab) ...instead of being proud of their Centuries old Rich History, Culture and Heritage .... A totally Confused and lost community... their present condition says it all...
Andrew Jun 07, 2020 03:20pm
M. Emad Jun 07, 2020 03:38pm
Ertugrul mania has taken Pakistan by storm.
Laila Jun 07, 2020 03:43pm
This is so weird and exaggeration. The entire world watches shows like this , and many countries including South American are fans of Ertugrul it they don't take it as far. Its entertainment. Not a documentary. This is getting awfully close to idol worshipping.
Dr. Salaria, Aamir Ahmad Jun 07, 2020 04:20pm
Let there be light at the end of the tunnel.
Furrukh Rao Jun 07, 2020 04:48pm
I dont know why it is so easy to colonize our minds.
SRK Jun 07, 2020 05:03pm
Missiles named after Afghan warriors, major port named after Arab attacker, Lahore Cricket stadium named after Libyan dictator, TVs full of drama portraying Turkish heroes. But there is no University or road that can be named after own Dr. Abdus Salam. And people are asked to consider themselves as Arabs or Turkish lineage. Is there no Pakistan hero who was born in this land?
Sakth Aadmi Jun 07, 2020 05:32pm
should one laugh or feel sad at this???
M. Emad Jun 07, 2020 05:38pm
Emperor Ranjit Singh --- who hailed from Gujranwala --- is one of the most important in the history of Pakistan.
Asif Ali Jun 07, 2020 05:39pm
What is our relationship with him?
P Turk Jun 07, 2020 06:42pm
I love Turkey. My ancestors migrated to Pakistan in 1656 from Turkey. They settled in Kabul first. After they moved to Multan. Now we live in Lahore.
JustSaying Jun 07, 2020 07:17pm
@SRK You Hit the Nail ... To the Point..
Aman Jun 07, 2020 07:17pm
@Sakth Aadmi Why? Since when celebrating our hero is a mater of laugh or sadness? It is about remembering sacrifices of Muslim Heroes that has protected us as a Muslim Ummah through the difficult times. At his time there were three huge problems Muslim Ummah was facing (1) Tatars (2) Byzantine (3) traitors & conciliators and belligerent Muslim leaders of small areas of his time, he not only manage to overcome those issues , but his children were able to built a huge Muslim empire that ruled east and west for next 700 years until Muslims themselves stabbed Ottomans in their back when they were in the middle of war against Europeans!,
Akash Jun 07, 2020 07:52pm
good job
kulbhushan Yadav Jun 07, 2020 07:56pm
@M. Emad There was NO Pakistan at times of Ranjeet Singh. ONLY HINDUSTAN existed.Pakistani history starts at 1947 and to be honest there is nothing to be proud on that history. Its full of blunder, plunder and surrender.
MA Jun 07, 2020 08:31pm
Well done
JustSaying Jun 07, 2020 08:51pm
@bhaRAT© "Good to have this as a symbol of friendship with Turkey.." Yes good...But why a Sword..?? A Symbol of Death and Destruction...
Sachin Jun 07, 2020 09:04pm
Pakistan refuses to accept its own history and heritage. So they run to embrace the identity of everyone else. Pakistan should know atleast that their ancestors were not the invaders but actually suffered the invading armies. Its ironic. Celebrating those who attacked your own ancestors.
Syed Ali Jun 07, 2020 09:27pm
Live in the past and forget future. Why not celebrate Changez Khan a great warrior and victor.
Khan Jun 07, 2020 09:33pm
@Bushra Peerni If you travel to the tribal areas most of the traditions there are the same as portrayed in the series. Also if you pay attention to the turkish language in the series you will come across a number of urdu words. Lets not forget that turkish language played a vital rule in giving birth to urdu. So it is not that we would call ourselves turkish but feels good to see our traditions played out on screen. When western culture was forced on us we felt proud to do as the westerners did our youth feeling proud to use the four letter words so openly. So it is far better to see respect love obedience and most importantly the love for islam and its teachings for a change.
akkers Jun 07, 2020 10:04pm
well we are.... Urdu is a hybrid language with Turkish as its base.
Arif Jun 08, 2020 12:58am
So it means Pakistan does not have any heroes?
Xurase Jun 08, 2020 01:34am
@Ps ever saw Hollywood ? Bollywood?
SYED AKBAR Jun 08, 2020 02:01am
Why our people are so obsessed with Ertugral? Just wondering.
jaredlee007 Jun 08, 2020 02:39am
Emotional step taken by people with a myopic understanding of history.
Multani Jun 08, 2020 02:55am
Being proud of our Turkish heritage is all that matters, we are not Arabs or from Indian sub continent , Ertugrul’s statue is beautiful and very inspiring,
Ahsan Gul Jun 08, 2020 03:49am
At least our Pakistani citizens are staying away from the useless Indian movies.
Zak Jun 08, 2020 05:43am
Hooked, line and sinker. Brilliant drama, close to our culture.
Laila Jun 08, 2020 05:57am
@Furrukh Rao what an amazing excellent comment and poignant question.
Asad Khan Jun 08, 2020 07:15am
According to the urban legend, if the statue shows the horse posed with both front hooves up in the air, the rider died in battle. If the horse is posed with one front leg up, it means the rider was wounded in battle or died of battle wounds.
Janjua Jun 08, 2020 09:31am
@Bushra Peerni All Pakistanis have strong relation with Turk history. Pathan, Mughal, Afghans and people historically belonging to Iran and Central Asia may relate themselves with Turkish origins. Ultimately, they were harbinger of Islamic caliphate and so the Muslim history also acknowledge it.
Science Jun 08, 2020 09:55am
When it comes to own culture and history some people breaks maharaja ranjeet singh statue, disfigure Buddhist site but praising others history like own. Root cause of such behavior is identity crisis. People born and raised in that land is taught that your identity starts with invasion of arabs. People are confused whether they are relatives of arab or native of own land.
gv Jun 08, 2020 11:04am
@akkers - the only base for urdu is hindustani . please do some research. Urdu is the same as hindi but consisting of a turkish, persian and arab loan words which were in fashion vis the muslims of india. Please also note that there was a conscious effort to sanskritise 'hindi' 19th century onwards which is why the two languages are more different today than they were 100 years ago.
Laila Jun 08, 2020 01:17pm
@Khan Turkish language did not birth or have influence c on Urdu. You are completely rewriting history and linguistic facts. Can you kindly just Google Urdu language and read the very detailed and well referenced articles and history on Urdu which an hindustani language influenced by Arabic Persian, loan words. The words you find in Turkish are not Urdu but borrowed from. Arabic as well. Urdu is an arabized and Persian influence version.
Laila Jun 08, 2020 01:36pm
@Zak can you kindly explain how South Asian/Pakistani culture relates to Turkish culture? I believe you have never been to Turkey. Turkish culture both cuisine (Mediterranean not South Asian), dress (western.....for girls too), language (Turkic language as opposed to Urdu being a persianised Hindustani language) and ethnic makeup is completely different from our culture. Unless one of your parents is a native Turk, you are not and never can be Turkish. Of course, you can certainly apply for Turkish citizenship, if you fulfill certain criteria, but you don't have Turkish blood in your veins, no blood or ethnic relation, you don't speak or understand Turkish, so can you kindly stop whitewashing our Pakistani history and legacy. We have a rich and vibrant legacy of our own spanning thousands of years. Also you should know the Ottoman empire did not arrive in Pakistan but is limited to West of Asia.
ACEGIKtime Jun 08, 2020 03:00pm
@Bushra Peerni “ Soon all Pakistanis will start saying that they are Turkish origins.” The country is perpetually trying to find its identity because it keeps denying its identity.
@laila Jun 08, 2020 06:19pm
Abdullah Jun 09, 2020 06:10am
@Syed Ali Chengez Khan was not Muslim.
Multani Jun 09, 2020 06:19am
Our roots are Turkish, that is why we feel at home visiting Istanbul.
BAXAR Jun 09, 2020 02:06pm
@SRK "Is there no Pakistan hero who was born in this land?" I tried to find heroes from my land, so looked in my village. Apart from the local SHO, I could not find anyone. So I had to go beyond my village and found many in the land adjoining my village. I liked Ertughrul quite a lot compared to others, especially the way he was presented in the series. But I am open. Can you advise some of your preference, instead of criticizing mine?
Nice Jun 09, 2020 04:36pm
@Laila halwa is turkish word
SRK Jun 09, 2020 07:21pm
@BAXAR the problem with you all is that your heroes have to be Muslims. Not even recognising Dr. Abdus Salam shows the level of prejudice
Atharkhan Jun 10, 2020 03:55pm
How many pakistanis know the names of great thinkers of past like vasubandu and Asanga. They were born in peshawar.
Laila Jun 10, 2020 04:12pm
@Nice actually you're wrong. Halwa is a middleeastern dish in origin and comes from the words hlw which means sweet in Arabic. It was later adopted by Ottoman empire. Halwa can be found in North Africa, South Asia (Pakistan incl), Balkan (Europe), Somalia, Ethiopia, Malta, Horn of Africa, and even among middleeastern Jews. So are we then Somali, Eastern European, Egyptian, Jewish too? You can find Biryani in the Middleeast too. That does not make them call themselves Pakistani or South Asian or desi. Just like the world adopting burgers and pizza don't become American and Italian.
Nice Jun 10, 2020 06:38pm
@Laila Turks respect Pakistanis what goes around comes around
mesotwisty Jun 11, 2020 11:15am
Please put a mask on the statue