Turkey’s National Anthem reinterpreted to the tune of Islamic song
Polat Alemdar, played by actor Necati Şaşmaz, recited the 'Tala’ al Badru ‘Alayna' as the Turkish National Anthem played.Turkey’s National Anthem has been controversially reinterpreted to the tune of an ancient Islamic song during the latest episode of a popular Turkish television drama.
Polat Alemdar, the lead character of the controversial “The Valley of the Wolves” franchise, was seen reciting the lyrics of the National Anthem to the tune of “Tala’ al Badru ‘Alayna,” the song that Medina residents are believed to have sung to the Prophet Muhammad upon his arrival after completing the Hijra, the religious migration, in 622.
Soldiers of the Black Flag, a fictional special ops organization founded by Polat Alemdar, was also seen in the Oct. 13 episode joining in the chorus:
The Turkish National Anthem’s lyrics are based on two verses of an epic poem written by Mehmet Akif Ersoy in 1921 as a motivational salute to fighters in the Turkish War of Independence. The music of the anthem was composed by Osman Zeki Üngör in 1930.
The music has been criticized by many people for its awkward prosody in recent decades. The head of the Turkish National Anthem Association, İsmet Özel, one of Turkey’s most prominent living poets, recently suggested that the music of Tala’ al Badru ‘Alayna could be better suited to Ersoy’s lyrics.
However, the reinterpretation of the anthem in “The Valley of the Wolves” drew a mixed reaction on social media. Twitter user @OnrCan10 praised the “new anthem” and tweeted that “This scene will become a legend.” But @fsn57 was among the naysayers, tweeting: “It’s not easy to keep your sanity. You simply can’t sing the national anthem like that!”
“The Valley of the Wolves,” which has dominated Turkish viewing figures since its first episode in 2003, is back this season on Kanal D. Created by local director Osman Sınav, the show became an instant hit with its references to contemporary politics, its unabashed appeals to Turkish patriotism, and its unprecedented scenes of violence, according to Hürriyet Daily News reviewer Emrah Güler.
The show is also hugely popular in several countries, especially in the Middle East, and has reportedly triggered riots in Jordan, inspired a Yemeni man to kill five people, and encouraged many Sudanese youths to remodel their image and ape Turkish style.
Hollywood actors such as Andy Garcia, Sharon Stone and Billy Zane have also appeared in “The Valley of the Wolves.”