3 Turkish Drama Series You Need to Watch on Netflix Immediately
Today is a good day to be a fan of international films. With more and more people getting acquainted with the media offerings of different countries, it’s becoming progressively easier to find great hidden gems from all around the world on streaming platforms. For as much attention as things from Bollywood, Japan, Korea, and China have been seeing lately, however, Turkey is often overlooked despite being another powerhouse. Today, let’s check out three Turkish drama series you need to watch on Netflix immediately (recommended by Vogue India) to better understand the fantastic shows the country is making right now.
If you’re a Marvel fan, The Protector might be right up your alley. In a fairly typical superhero-type origin story, unassuming 20-something Hakan Demir (Çağatay Ulusoy) finds his adoptive father murdered in the antique shop they both operate. With many questions and few explanations, he’s urged into wearing a special Ottoman shirt that the assassins have been looking for by a pair of mysterious people trying to help him. Once on, the shirt fuses to his body, granting him special powers that he is destined to use in defending Istanbul as The Protector.
Produced by some of the people behind shows like Argo and Narcos, The Protector hits a lot harder than you might first expect. While it wears its Marvel inspirations on its sleeve (you can match the plot beats up to your standard Phase I MCU film pretty cleanly), the unique setting, lore, and great performances by the cast really help set it apart.
Love 101 tells the story of a group of five friends in Istanbul. Told as a flashback by one of the friends, Bade İşçil’s Işık, it follows four troublemakers in danger of being expelled due to their poor behavior. When the only teacher that ever sticks up for them is in danger of being relocated to a different school, the teens come up with a plan to have her fall in love with someone who works at the school. If she does, then she’ll be allowed to work where she chooses and not be forced to move. To do this, they enlist the young Işık (played in the flashbacks by İpek Filiz Yazıcı), as she’s known as a super smart and well-behaved kid who can help them pull this off in secret. In between their goofy schemes, the group begins to bond and learn more about themselves, becoming better people in the process.
Love 101 manages to shirk some of the more predictable and played out teen drama tropes thanks in part to letting our four central mischief makers be some really bad people at the start of the show. It makes their gradual change feel all the more rewarding, and watching them get a win over the oppressive faculty all the more fun.
Based on a novel called Dünyanın Uyanışı by Şengül Boybaş, The Gift follows a woman named Atiye and her quest to uncover the mysteries around a symbol she’s drawn since childhood. Despite always producing the symbol, she has no idea what it is or what it means. Unhappy in her relationship and her life in general, she is spurred into action when archeologists at Göbekli Tepe uncover artifacts inscribed with the same symbol. Setting out to see the discovery for herself, she meets Ehran, the man who uncovered the artifacts. Despite an initially rocky start, the two eventually decide to work together to figure out what’s going on with all of this as things begin to get more and more unsettling and strange the deeper they dig.
The Gift is a stylish and slightly creepy mystery that mixes fantasy with real Turkish history and culture. In many ways, it’s a lot like a bigger budget and more competently produced CW show, and we say that in the best way possible. If you’re a fan of slow burn drama, this one’s for you.