Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts in Communication Studies


Communication Studies

First Reader/Committee Chair

Muhtaseb, Ahlam


After the phenomenal success of Resurrection: Ertugrul that started airing on the governmental Turkish Radio and Television Corporation (TRT) in 2014, a new wave of Turkish historical dramas started getting global popularity. These shows captivated Arabs’ and Muslims’ attention around the world and exceeded viewers’ expectations. Therefore, I examined in my study why Arab viewers watch those dramas, how they perceive and react to historical facts presented in those dramas, and whether and how those dramas confront the misrepresentations of Muslims by Western media and cinema. Utilizing Said’s conceptual framework of Orientalism and other research studies that focused on the representation of Muslims through Orientalist lens, I analyzed 20 interviews that I conducted with self-identifying bi-lingual Arab participants who had watched new historical Turkish dramas. I found that Turkish historical dramas revive Islamic values and historical memories among Arab viewers, as well as confront stereotypical portrayals of Muslims in Hollywood movies. Moreover, these dramas aroused a feeling of pride among Arab viewers because of their high-quality production.