Meeting Erturgrul cemented my move to Turkey.

Lauren Booth


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The guests of a tour of Turkey's cultural center discuss the culture and history, highlighting its "immediate of the past" and "immediate of the future" values. They also mention upcoming events and a video they recorded for a tour of the center. A customer describes a culture they experienced as "immediate of the past" and "immediate of the future," while an actor describes his experience in a forest meeting where actors film.

Transcript ©

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Assalamualaikum Warahmatullahi Wabarakatuh Hello sang and remarkable calm horse gardeners, and hello to all radio don't want to send point six FM listeners, viewers and premium history for followers as well. I'm really excited about today. Thank you very much for joining us today. It's a really exciting session, and I'm really happy but I'm really excited my heart's pounding already, because of the stuff that we're gonna be talking about. I just want to mention the guests that we have today is live from Turkey itself, hunger LA. Turkey is very important to us and it's in our hearts, from the lobbies to Turkey and I really felt some special about it and it's got some great Islamic

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history there as well. Inshallah, we'll also talk about that at some point today as well. Without further ado, we welcome SR or with Assalamu Aleikum while it comes salam ala Huhtala Habana care to wash gardeners rubbish roughly salary Why yes. Sara Lee Emery we have determined his salary. You have Kokopelli Nice to be here. You're live from Turkey as well. Absolutely fantastic. So if we're not in Turkey, we've got some sort of connection with Turkey through yourself at the moment. So that's Welcome, come come visit. It's an open place. We would love to see your inshallah. Sister Lauren, are you actually basically in stumbling around? Is that where you resided? I've been living

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here for two years by the Grace of Allah. And it's, it's been amazing. I'm about to move house within move home within Istanbul. But it's definitely, you know, a space that has a lot of expats here at the moment, I think there's a group that I'm on has 1000 English speakers in Istanbul alone, and there are many more who won't know about that group. But gathering to kind of learn about deen and do good deeds and support charities and nice people handling the people and, and more importantly, than that, of course, is the Turkish community because when you move to a place you shouldn't, you know, the Brits have been too good about setting up sort of centers and not speaking

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the local language and not getting on that set. I didn't speak as yet but with love to the to our, to our Turkish,

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you know, neighbors and hosts really and getting to know them getting to know the culture is very, very important. Sister Lauren, we know Turkey is an amazing family history is the last Islamic State as well, why Turkey?

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I was I visited here around six, seven years ago and then got a couple more invitations to come back. And I think that it still fulfills its role as East meets West. That is how Allah to Allah has placed it you know, you're one foot literally, you're one foot in Europe and the other in Asia. And so you're across two great continents. And you know, the Christianity that came through here and then the Islam flourished here. And then the people making their way in the modern state of Turkey. I think it's a very special place in the world. Mashallah. MashAllah hamdulillah now obviously Turkey is very special is very important as well. And I think it's a shame because as Moses I don't

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think we actually recognized its value towards until these famous television series that have come on. I think there's many now the first one we'll start with the ACT rules in a resurrection are true. And from then we got our personnel and we got a smile We got so many come on, I think the interest is there now people that are actually visiting Turkey are trying to find out more intrigued and actually visiting the famous sites for example, the to mow through and in a Halima and so on the stars as well. So I think that does actually raise interest for another thing and I'm think I'm really jealous about that. You actually got to meet the customer, you're to visit them. I'm so

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jealous. Can you say mashallah, please

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mashallah, Mashallah.

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So this was this was something incredible. I mean, I like you, you know, my children were a bit younger they're in the teens and you're constantly looking for please God, give us some ethical content you know, we're looking for I mean, when I was a kid, we used to watch Little House on the Prairie. Now I have to say, although it's from a Christian background, I think it still stands the test of time. If you're really stuck for something ethical with good people doing good things and considering one another little you couldn't you could get we're gonna go a lot fast worse than something like that Little House on the Prairie Islamically since in the last 10 years, yes, there

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have definitely been new cartoon series and family shows coming through but when my kids were teenagers, it was like what do we watch together? So then we discovered tarot and you know just it drew you in and and seeing I don't know about you, brother, but seeing our brothers and sisters praying on screen is like, Oh, we do that. Oh, that's actually us. I'm not watching another because even if we're watching say, you know, you have Pakistani soaps or Indian soaps or any the people not doing great things. Yeah, they're not being their best.

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selves on the whole in dramas, you know. And if we're in Britain, those people are definitely not being the best selves in TV dramas. Okay, so for once Ertugrul brought to our screens, something that was aspirational, full of hope, and a dynamic vision of what a Muslim leader could look like. And it just melted our hearts. So

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how did it happen? Yeah, I got contacted by the Eunice Emery Institute, they have a center in London, if you ever get the chance go and take a visit. They do lots of cultural events to do with the Turkish language and Turkish poetry and Ottoman history, Mashallah. They contacted me and said, Would you like to come on on an early Earth roll tour? And I said, Subhan Allah, this is what a great opportunity. And so I said, I don't suppose any chance of going on set is there. So it was still filming. This is now good four years ago now. And they said yes, but nobody gets on set, or the only people who've been on set were. I think it was a Venezuelan leader. And, of course, the

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president of Turkey, President Erdogan, they're like the only people who've got onset and I'm like, Okay, I know my place. I know my place. I'm not I'm not, you know, a president of people so far. Keep it in my heart. And maybe now maybe I'll just ask a lot, I'd really love to, to meet these people, if possible, and get that moment, you know.

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So by the grace of a lot, they said, amazingly, Lauren, now you're in Turkey, they've said, you can come on set. And I was like my heart was pounding like you wouldn't believe SubhanAllah. And one of the one of my observations was this, that I have, by the Grace of Allah, I've met President Erdogan as well, in the, in the presidential palace in Ankara. And you know, every world leader that you meet, you have tears of security and roadblocks and things to go through. It was harder, getting onto the set of material than getting close to President do I remember, that's how serious they were. So it took place. It was filmed in the, in the hills and forest, just, I think, to the north

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of Istanbul, we would take them by car. I mean, honestly, had they put had they kind of handcuffed me and put on, you know, put a blindfold on, I wouldn't have been surprised.

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Because they did not want us to know where you're going checkpoint checkpoint, and suddenly, you're walking down a muddy lane. And there's there was this, and you come around the corner and you're in a forest, and then you smell wood smoke. And suddenly, I was like, Oh, my God, I looked around and I was in the village. I was outside the meeting tent, the famous tent. And the whole thing, you know, being an actor myself, the minute that you walk onto a set, you take on a role. So I was not 21st century Lauren, there. I was. I was Saara they, you know, you know,

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in the tribe of all those centuries ago. And so I you know, there were there were the remember the old ladies, you know, one of the famous shots that they always have is the women who are doing the yarn with those kind of they were the women were the yarn and like this, that women were the yarn, and that horses were going past. And so they said, Look, you won't get to speak to anybody on set. They're all too busy, but at least you'll get a walk around, and I was more than satisfied with that. But when I, um, they didn't tell me this, but I don't know how it happened to this day. I'm Allahu Akbar. I climbed the steps to the tent, where all those famous who all those meetings take

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place. And as I turned around, all the bays came over

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all of them and I'm looking and I said, Hey, Hola. Hola like this.

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And there's, there's Bamse. There's, I was like, oh,

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so then Halima? Sorry, the mother Hatton. The mother came out.

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Oh, yes. And I said, Sarah Maliko. Very nice to meet you. And she was still in character she was in obviously, they were all in there. And so I'm looking at this and I'm thinking I am literally in Israel. Just taste this every second of this. And then a deep voice next to me said, As salam Wa alaykum.

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I remember looking up and going, Oh, my.

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and you know what my boss was said my personal Shaytan said to me, if you pretend to faint, he'll have to catch you. I mean, I was

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a biller Miss boosts hours of biller stuck for the last stop for a while, because I really, you know, and he's so full and his voice is so deep. So like I said, I was I had to play a role, because that's just how

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Have, alas made me and so I've said this. I said Salam aleikum, my dear brothers and sisters, you who are changing the vision of modern Islam, I bring you greetings from the Western Ummah and in character they went, Oh Allah

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just amazing. So Subhanallah I actually have a clip?

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Because would you like to hear it kind of

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exclusive on agreements to social media for just for you guys. So one of the things that was a condition of going on was you cannot film anything because it will it will kill the it will kill the feeling for people who are yet to watch it, which I totally understand.

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But I did whip out my phone and do a little bit of I asked, I said a little bit of audio, maybe I can do they said fine. And I was sitting in the tent with the director watching a screen and thinking this is this is surreal. And then a man sat next to me. And it was altum Utley, the actor who plays a role just came and sat in a chair next to me and I'm like, I'll go on. So I just quickly snuck in interview so that's what I'm gonna play to you now. Okay

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Bismillah you speak Spanish?

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I don't know.

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Fair enough. Nice to see

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you have a very rough a really intensive filming schedule. I don't envy

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Lauren, I think you've gone on a

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I wish for you a break but not for the for us view as a break.

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Thank you

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what what effect is it having on you as an actor? How have you grown?

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What does it mean to you

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to be doing a project like this at this time in your life? This

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is the first time in like

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big production

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First episode

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they did let me take some photos. So there's photos of me on the set. So that was absolutely amazing. Honestly, I felt like I was there is crazy. But you know the the Mongols in the woods, I went up. And it was one of the most terrifying, genuinely terrifying experiences in my life. So yeah, do take a look at that guy. So hamdulillah it was it was a really incredible experience. So So what happened? You actually meet anybody that was just the music? Yeah, well, they, they, they they didn't I didn't meet the noise.

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But they drove me to another part of the set. Because if you watch a tutorial, you watch so many episodes, and you realize there's only three places there's like a patch of woods, right? And there's a place where the horses always go round and you start to recognize it. So they said, Come to our other set. We're filming a very grisly scene, right up in in the woods in the hillside, and I'm walking and there's a smell of incense. There were actors playing the Mongol hordes. And they looked at me and sharpen their knives and a shiver went through me like it was it was very visceral and frightening. Wow.

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You can play something out and you say, no, no, no.

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That's fine. So that's on your YouTube page as well. Yeah, exactly. Yeah. No, that's fantastic. Actually, thank you. I really appreciate you sharing that with those honest I didn't know that. You know, we're getting a treat like that today.