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Now Hollywood is staffed by jerks,
I much prefer the honest Turks.
I watch each series on Netflix;
I’ve given up on Western pricks.
Sure, some scenes have excessive sighs
Where actresses with mournful eyes
Gaze lovingly at bearded guys
With weapons of enormous size –
Sharp scimitars wielded with force,
Beheading Christian Knights, of course.
The body-count logic defies,
But then Turks don’t apologise
For showing Muslims in this light –
They always win – Christians can’t fight!
It’s propaganda unashamed;
Their past empire is never blamed;
They don’t at belly-buttons gaze;
They celebrate those gory days.
They say a prayer then say: “Amen.”
They’re making Turkey Great Again!

At the Flicks – Young Turks

Yes, you’ve got to hand it to the Turks when it comes to making block-busting historical dramas. Soap operas really, that under the watchful gaze of the Turkish Government censors carefully tread the right path, the Islamic path, as laid down by Erdogan – he who would wish to see the Ottoman Empire rise again. But hey! – who am I to complain. I enjoy these shows, all 150+ episodes of each. The Turks are unapologetic in their portrayal of their past heroes and their victories – no self flagellation of the Western kind; no denigration of their ancestors, despite their sins – quite the opposite. The Muslims are always right and on the side of right, and the enemy, the infidels, are not only wrong, but they are also sneaky, dishonest and beneath contempt – they are demons.

So why as a non-Muslim do I enjoy these shows? Well apart from the enthralling stories, amazing costumes, the frequent sword fights, the excellent acting and of course, the gorgeous women, I basically enjoy their honesty – there is no surreptitious, sneaky, underhanded social engineering of the type we find in everything made in the West these days. No subtle (well subtle to the blind and deaf) attempts at brain-washing. The Turks don’t try to hide their prejudice. Their method of propaganda is not “sophisticated” you might say. They are confident in their convictions and consequently make no attempt to cloak their intentions. There is no undercurrent, no hidden agenda – it’s all out in the open. Typically, these shows are simply delightful Turkish Islamic nationalistic propaganda with no attempt to hide the fact – that’s what’s great about them; you can just ignore the obvious message and get on with enjoying the production despite all the “Allahu Akbahs!” – it’s refreshing!

At the moment I’m watching “Resurrection – Ertugrul.” (well that’s the approximate English translation) I’m only up to episode 55 so not a lot has happened, but I feel things will begin to move shortly. Ertugrul was the father of the founder of the Ottoman Empire, Osman I, so he is quite an important guy in Turkish folklore. I say folklore because almost nothing is known about him, but that doesn’t stop an imaginative Turkish script-writer from turning him into a great founding father and Turkish Muslim hero, and good on that script-writer for doing so!

I’m not going to spoil the plot for anyone but it’s sufficient to say the Muslims are the good guys and the Knights Templar (here representing the Christians) are just about the worse guys you could imagine. They are sneaky, cowardly, scheming cheats with no redeeming qualities at all. To be fair this may not have been too wide of the mark judging by their historical reputations, but I do object to their pitiful sword-fighting skills – one Muslim alp (as their fighters are called) will quite easily lay waste to a dozen Knights Templar and hardly raise a sweat.

Do these Turkish shows have faults? Sure, as you may have guessed already things sometimes move at a snail’s pace (a sluggish snail) and those long looks into each other’s eyes (including some of the man to man encounters) can be pretty trying, as can the religious meetings where dervishes monotonously chant and mysterious beams of light suddenly descend from the clouds, but hey, that’s just Turkish culture and religion and that’s what the fast-forward button is there for. Anyway if you are as sick as I am of the pathetic crap coming out of Hollywood and elsewhere and you can read subtitles, then do yourself a favour – give the Young Turks a go!

Resurrection – Ertugrul