What a TV series tells us about Erdogan’s Turkey

Ahead of Erdogan’s trip to Washington to meet with Trump, Hurriyet Daily News editor William Armstrong pens an op-ed in the New York Times using Turkish television to explain the zeitgeist in Turkey. Turkey’s top show “Dirilis: Ertugrul” features a 13th Century Turkish warrior battling Turkey’s historical enemies, namely Christians. The show captures the Muslim nationalism expressed by Erdogan, who during the recent referendum campaign, spoke of a bitter “struggle between the crescent and the cross,” Armstrong writes. Albeit the most popular, Dirilis: Ertugrul is just a single show in a wave of television series that has popped up in the wake of  Turkey’s renewed fighting with Kurdish militants and last year’s coup attempt. The shows, which target a national audience in which the average person watches 5.5 hours of television a day, feature soldiers and intelligence operatives battling external and internal enemies.

 

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