As the Coronavirus keeps us all inside trying to distract ourselves from what’s happening, now’s a good time to catch up on some of the good Turkish movies and TV shows. I have some suggestions that I recommend, even though your preference could be different from mine. These are among the best TV shows and movies so why don’t you give them a try?
Turkish movies and series offer a fresh cinematic look that departs from several overused Hollywood cliches.
Turkish dramas have become world-famous TV shows. The cinema industry is an important part of Turkish culture that has flourished over the years reaching Europe and more recently the Arab world. With the first Turkish-made film in 1914. Turkey now celebrates its 106th year of cinema history. Turkish cinema is unique in that it reflects the stories of the nation, which has a distinct culture that embodies different influences.
If you don’t have time to go through the whole post. Here is the condensed version:
Top 9 Turkish movies:
- 1- Paper Lives
- 2-Miracle In Cell NO. 7
- 3- Ayla: The Daughter of War
- 4- For both of us Ikimizin Yerine
- 5- Only You ‘Sadece Sen‘
- 6- Kocan Kadar Konus: Husband Factor
- 7-Muslum, Voice of Pain
- 8- My Father ‘Babam‘
- 9-Sour Apples ‘Eksi Elmalar’
- 10-My Mother’s Wound ‘Annemin Yarasi’
Top 6 Turkish series:
- 3-Ethos: Bir Başkadır
- 4-Ertugrul: Resurrection
- 5-Atiye: The gift
- 7-Masum: Innocent
Turkish series and movies are very popular and even made their way to Netflix. Here is a list of the top 10 Turkish movies and series to stream during this lockdown.
My Top 10 Turkish movies on Netflix to begin with
There are a ton of options available to watch on streaming platforms such as Netflix and Amazon. I have selected a few of them that are on Netflix. The movies that I have chosen are based solely on my opinion and taste.
1. Paper Lives ‘Kagittan Hayatlar’ (2021)
Paper Lives (Original title: Kagittan Hayatlar) is an excellent Turkish drama on Netflix.
This tragedy mimics the reality of many young boys who survive the rough Istanbul streets by collecting scraps of paper and glass for recycling.
The film touches on several social issues, including poverty, mental illness and abuse. Superb acting, a flowing script, and a glimpse into the unglamorous dark side of an iconic city which more than deserves to be nominated for the best film somewhere.
2. Miracle In Cell NO. 7 (2019)
Miracle in Cell NO.7 is a remake of a Korean film released in October 2013 with the same name.
It’s a tragic and yet heartfelt movie that describes the love between a mentally ill father who is wrongfully accused of murdering a young girl and his daughter.
3. Sour Apples ‘Eksi Elmalar‘ (2016)
An epic story by the famous actor/director Yilmaz Erdogan that takes us on a nostalgic journey through time to witness a family’s transition from the old, traditional way of life to the new and unknown.
This comedy-drama tackles political ideals as well as social and family values with the perfect dose of humor.
The clothes, music, mountain village setting and simple-minded humor are just delightful. We really get the feel of Turkey in the ’70s.
The film also illustrates the divide between the lifestyles of urban and rural communities in Turkey during that period.
4. Ayla: The Daughter of War (2017)
The movie is based on a true story of a Turkish sergeant whose name is Suleiman and a little Japanese girl during the Korean War in 1950. Suleyman found the girl (Ayla) after she was left alone and took care of her. Ayla is a very inspiring movie that is full of emotional scenes. The story also addresses the problem of one of the thousands of children suffering from war
5. For both of us ‘Ikimizin Yerine‘ (2016)
Çiçek an ambitious girl who grew up and lives is in a small village in Bursa. Her life will change when she meets Dogan, her literature teacher. Their forbidden relationship holds secrets.
6. Only You ‘Sadece Sen’ (2014)
Sadece Sen movie tells the story of passionate love between a former boxer (Ali) and a beautiful blind woman (Hazel). But his violent past shows up to threaten them and their love. If you are a fan of drama movies full of compassion and love this Turkish movie is the right one for you.
7. Husband Factor ‘Kocan Kadar Konus’ (2015/2016)
A Turkish comedy film series. A story of a traditional Turkish woman (Efsun). A thirty-year-old is put under pressure by her family and friends to find a husband, but Efsun still looking for a true love story and a romantic relationship.
8. Müslüm ‘Voice of Pain’ (2018)
This biographical story is based on true events in the life of one of Turkey’s most adored singers, Muslum Gurses. This tragic story reflects the sorrow that has become synonymous with the voice and music of Muslum, who is affectionately called Muslum Baba “father”.
The film begins with Muslum’s humble childhood, with his poor family in the south of Turkey. Muslum endures several challenges throughout his short and troubled life. Despite this, his music made him a national hero and an inspirational icon, to this very day.
9. My Father ‘Babam‘ (2017)
This heartbreaking story covers the life of a middle-aged man who has to cope with the sudden death of his wife, his Autistic son and his ailing fish business, all at the same time.
Set in the small coastal town of Gelibolu, you get a realistic insight into what living in small-town Turkey is really like. This film highlights the contrasts of a changing world, for the main character, uncle Yusuf.
A delightfully slow, lethargic and yet classic story of family values, love and responsibility. This uniquely Turkish story is a must-watch for those who appreciate old-school drama.
10. My Mother’s Wound ‘Annemin Yarasi’
This tragic and suspenseful drama is set in Bosnia, reflecting on the old wounds of the Bosnian war. The film is about the quest for a young man, Salih, to find his family, whom he has never known.
His journey reveals shocking truths about what happened during the war and how some war criminals got away scotfree, while their victims were left alone to deal with the horrific consequences.
My Mother’s Wound is an attempt to highlight the atrocities of what has become a forgotten tragedy.
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My 7 top Turkish series on Netflix
If ever there was a time for catching up on all the great TV shows you’ve been missing, it is now. There are countless Turkish TV series available to stream on Netflix, so allow me to suggest some of my favorites.
1. 50m2 (1 season-2021)
50m2 really took me by surprise, in a good way. It starts out as a typical story about a ‘too cool for school’ Hitman doing the rounds for his rich gangster boss. The story also draws from the Jason Bourne cliche where the main character doesn’t know his real name or true identity, history, parents etc.
As the story progresses the main character, whose name is still not revealed, finds that his quest to uncover his past turns his life upside-down, sending him on the run.
This show also includes a healthy dose of old-school Turkish humor, which is very funny. 50m2 is an entertaining and heart-warming series that will keep you interested while also offering a realistic image of what everyday life in Istanbul is actually like.
2. Fatma (1 season-2021)
This recent psychological thriller/drama is chilling and unpredictable.
The story begins with a poor and lonely cleaner, Fatma, who is working many jobs a day and struggling to find her missing husband. She seems to have reached a dead-end in her search for her husband. Just when she decides to lose hope, she discovers some shocking and disturbing secrets about her husband. This leads her through a series of adventures that reflect on her troubled past and challenging present circumstances.
Fatma also showcases the story of a strong but troubled female lead character who gets zero help from family, friends and the greater society, forcing her to take matters into her own hands, with deadly consequences.
This action-packed and thrilling drama is another story of the tough life endured by the forgotten poor and downtrodden in the megacity of Istanbul. Other themes and motifs include the hurdles of bureaucracy, sexual abuse, crime and the lack of legal rights and representation for poor people. Fatma is probably one of the most interesting and original shows out this year, so far.
3. Ethos Bir Başkadır (1 season-2020)
Rated as an excellent Turkish drama series by many websites. Bir Başkadır or Ethos in English is with no doubt different than any Turkish drama series has ever been made.
Ethos is 8 episodes, 48 minutes each telling the story of Meryem a cleaner, and her therapist Peri. Give it a chance I guarantee you won’t be disappointed.
4. Ertugrul : Resurrection (5 seasons – 2014/2019)
Resurrection Ertuğrul series was set in the 13th century. It retells the history and events that led to the birth of the Ottoman Empire.
More specifically, it traces the footsteps of the great leader, Erturgul, the father of Osman I, who was the founder of the Ottoman Empire.
The story includes a glimpse of the nomadic lifestyle, love, and war. For Game of Thrones lovers, this should be your next watch.
5. Phi (2 seasons- 2017/2018)
Phi is a psychological thriller series based on a novel written by the Turkish writer Azra Kohen.
This series explains the life of a psychiatrist and psychology teacher Can Manay. He falls in love with a young and ambitious dancer Duru, but Duru has a lover named Deniz, a talented musician.
Can‘s love will grow to become an obsession that will uncover hidden secrets.
6. Atiye: The Gift (3 seasons- 2020)
The gift is a drama fantasy series about a girl named Atiye, a painter in Istanbul, who embarks on a personal journey as she unearths universal secrets about an Anatolian archaeological site, Göbeklitepe, the world’s oldest temple in the Southeastern Anatolia Region of Turkey and its supernatural link to her family history.
7. Masum: Innocent (1 season- 2017)
The slow-burn ominous series that is well worth your time.
A retired former chief-of-police Cevdet and his family were living peacefully in their small town away from the city.
Suddenly everything changes when Yusuf, the chief of the Homicide Squad of the police department was assigned a mysterious murder case in his hometown. Cevdet and his family become entwined in a murder riddled with shocking and buried secrets.
All things considered, It is hard to go wrong with most of these Turkish movies and series. Anyway, let me know what you think of these listed options. Do you have a favorite Turkish TV show or movie?
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