Esra Bilgic, star of Turkish drama series ‘Dirilis: Ertugrul’, recently published a tweet claiming she had found her number one in Pakistan. The statement was so intriguing for audiences that it began to attract all kinds of speculation. But for a large number of Pakistanis, there could only be one explanation for this cryptic tweet; obviously, ‘no.1’ meant significant other. It must mean Esra Bilgic had found a new partner – a Pakistani to boot.
Later, when she tweeted ‘dunya ko bata dou’ with a picture of her posing for an ad campaign, it became clear it was all a hoax. In effect, the mobile company Jazz was Esra Bilgic’s one and only.
Did poor Bilgic know this was going to happen? The truth is, she is probably accustomed to being the subject of controversy by now.
Pakistanis don’t do anything halfway. This includes celebrity crushes. Bilgic certainly seems to appreciate the attention – when it doesn’t work against her that is. Earlier this month, Bilgic turned off the comments under a picture she posted of herself wearing a bikini. She did this to avoid the potential backlash: backlash from Pakistanis who thought she should be conducting herself in a manner befitting the character of pious Halime Sultan. These die-hard fans seemed not to realize that Bilgic was, in fact, playing a role and thus is not obligated to uphold the values Halime Sultan lived by in the TV series.
This sort of moral policing is clearly ludicrous. However, jumping to fantastical conclusions is not as unthinkable an act in a modern-day world where ‘stanning’ is a norm. But it becomes disturbing – even hypocritical – when those who call themselves fans can switch between hot and cold so swiftly and so frequently. In essence, the beautiful Esra Bilgic holds Pakistanis in the palm of her hand. They will forgive anything, but only after they’ve told her exactly what is on their minds – unvarnished and brutal.