13 Most Popular Turkish Dramas and TV Shows on Netflix

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From sweeping historical shows to slick action thrillers, these Turkish dramas and series on Netflix must be on your watchlist right now. Over the past few years, Turkish TV series have seeped out of the borders of the country and gained a worldwide fanbase. And that is mostly because of the high production values and universal themes featured in the shows. From high-octane crime thrillers to coming-of-age dramas, the genre has it all.

One of the most popular Turkish actresses, Tuba Büyüküstün.
One of the most popular Turkish actresses, Tuba Büyüküstün.

Growing Effect of Turkish Series in the World

Turkish dramas have subverted themselves into the culture in the same way telenovelas have. However, they are not soap operas or telenovelas, they are known as “dizi”, which refers to a “genre in progress”, according to Dr. Arzu Ozturkmen. The doctor, by the way, teaches oral history at Boğaziçi University in Istanbul. She told The Guardian that the name encompasses the format that has “unique narratives, use of space and musical scores.”

The Protector is the first original Turkish drama on Netflix.
The Protector is the first original Turkish drama on Netflix.

What does Make Turkish Dramas on Netflix and Other Platforms So Popular?

While the US is slowly catching up, Turkish dramas have been a staple in many parts of Europe, Latin America, and China, and Korea. So, what makes them so addictive? Many Turkish dramas and melodramas reflect universal themes and dilemmas. And people all over the world easily understand and accept with just a hint of Turkish flair.

The period when it was broadcasted, the Phi series had caused a great debate due to its erotic scenes.
The period when it was broadcasted, the Phi series had caused a great debate due to its erotic scenes.

Here are some of the best Turkish dramas to stream on Netflix in reverse order. Take a close look and tell us your favorite…

13- Fi (Phi)

The story of Fi (Phi), the phenomenon Turkish series, is about Can Manay (played by Ozan Güven). He is a very famous psychologist with a dark background. Can Manay has a special interest in women. And so, his obsession is to have whoever he wants. However, things get change when Can Manay saw Duru.

12- 46 Yok Olan

In a bid to bring his comatose sister back to life, genetics professor Murat experiments with a treatment that blends science with the supernatural. Needless to say, things don’t exactly go as planned. And unfortunately, he unlocks an alter ego that wants to seek revenge for his past tragedies. Thus, this psychological thriller effectively combines fantasy and mystery.

11- Behzat Ç. An Ankara Detective Story

Based on the novels by Emrah Serbes, the show revolves around Behzat Ç, a morally ambiguous, maverick police officer. He heads the homicide department in Ankara and leads a team of five wildly different people. Each episode features them solving a new murder case and navigating through the system while dealing with their own issues. The show is amongst the most popular series in Turkey. However, it faced major pushback from the ruling government because of its political themes.

10- Innocent

Cevdet (Haluk Bilginer) is a retired commissioner. And his wife spends their pensions in peace on a farm away from the city. Suddenly, the sudden arrival of the terrible news from the little son destroys the order of the family. Masum — Innocent must take place on your must-watch list. Once you start watching the series, you will easily become addicted to it. Therefore, the story and the unended adventure will easily catch you up!

9- 20 Minutes

This popular Turkish drama is perfect for fans of thrillers such as 24. Ali has to race against time to prove his wife’s innocence after she is arrested for the attempted murder of the son of the city’s mayor. While her husband tries to piece together the events of the night she supposedly committed the murder, Melek struggles to adjust to life in prison. Over the course of Ali’s investigation, uncomfortable truths and secrets come out making him question whether he knew his wife as well as he thought or not.

8- Rise of Empires: Ottoman

The story of “Rise of Empires: Ottoman“, a docu-series, is mainly talking about the life of the Ottoman Sultan Mehmed II. The sultan, whom we mostly know as Mehmet the Conquerer, is of a very significant place in history. His significant role not only valid in Turkey’s, but also in the world’s history. Due to this reason, while the story is talking about the conquer of Istanbul (Constantinapolis), it will also reveal the crossing paths of Mehmed II and the Byzantine Emperor.

7- Winter Sun

This one has all the elements of a classic Bollywood potboiler, including secret affairs, estranged twins, amnesia, and avenging the deaths of loved ones. After witnessing his father’s assassination as a child, Efe is adopted by a fisherman who raises him as his child. When Efe grows up, he tries to find the truth about his real family and learns about his twin brother and his wealthy family who have secrets of their own. Things get into motion when his father’s assassin murders his twin brother, thinking it’s actually him. Now Effe must take on his brother’s identity to exact revenge from the people who killed his loved ones.

6- Love 101

Set primarily in 1998, “Love 101” tells the story of five teenagers — four misfits and one model student. The four misfits are Kerem (played by Kubilay Aka), Eda (played by Alina Boz), Osman (played by Selahattin Paşalı), and Sinan (played by Mert Yazıcıoğlu). All come from different circles and none of them are friends, but they all get into trouble repeatedly.

5- Resurrection: Ertugrul

Set in the thirteenth century, this Turkish historical drama is based on the life of the titular Ertugrul. He is a warrior who supposedly laid the foundations of the Ottoman Empire. The fictionalized series follows Ertugrul, the son of the leader of a nomadic tribe, as he embarks on a journey to establish a state of their own. Over a course of five long seasons, he meets with several challenges in the form of the Templars, the Mongols, and snakes within his own tribe. The show has often been accused of being a propaganda tool for Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, the president of Turkey, while others have likened it to HBO’s Game of Thrones. The show has also been lauded for its slick production values and action sequences.

4- The Protector

The Protector (Hakan: Muhafız) is a superhero series. The scenario is based on a fictional Ottoman – Turkish legend. And Çağatay Ulusoy is a young man who discovers his special powers. In the dark side of Istanbul, the evil Immortal must be stopped at all costs but The Protector is not ready and he must hide until his training is over. Hazar Ergüçlü, Ayça Ayşin Turan, Mehmet Kurtuluş, and Okan Yalabık are the major cast.

3- Black Money Love

So, here we are with the final 3 Turkish dramas on Netflix. The 3rd place goes to Black Money Love Turkish drama. Omer works at the organized crime branch in Eastern Turkey. And Elif, on the other hand, is a successful jewelry designer, who lives in Italy. The two have nothing in common until a fateful trip to Istanbul has them crossing paths with each other because of an incidence that would irrevocably change their lives. The crime thriller is full of action, chemistry, and twists and turns and is one of the most popular Turkish series outside of the country.

2- Love Me as I Am

The show deals with what happens after you’ve achieved the supposed “happy ever after”. Small town girl Aysem meets a wealthy college student Ömer when she moves to a big city to live with her uncle. They fall in love and decide to get married. So far so good, right? Wrong. Their families disapprove of their marriage. This is mostly because of their vastly different economical backgrounds. But will their love be enough to have them tide over these issues?

1- The Gift

Here is one of the most popular Turkish dramas on Netflix: Atiye — The Gift. The main character, Beren Saat acted as Atiye, is a painter. And she is free and quite commanding. She has always been drawing the same symbol since she was a child. Although she’s curious, she didn’t poke the situation. She lives the kind of life many people can’t even dream of. For instance, she has a rich and handsome lover, an insect but a fun sister. Moreover, she also has got a father who is fond of his daughter. The only pointed corner of this family is Atiye’s mother, but Atiye somehow learned to deal with it.

Due to the mystical symbol of which Atiye has been drawing since her childhood, her path crosses with Mehmet Günsür (acted as Erhan). Erhan does not take Atiye seriously. After all, a woman says that she wants to come into the excavation area (Göbeklitepe) and has been drawing that symbol for years. Anyone would think of she is crazy. However, Atiye’s righteousness finally emerges. So, the fates of Erhan and Atiye sealed to each other so that nothing can separate them again.

So, tell us your favorite one!

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1 COMMENT

  1. I live in Sterling Massachusetts, USA. A town of 6,000. My husband and I are 70 years old and Black Money Love was the 1st Turkish drama I have watched. We loved it and finished the 160 episodes due to Covid 19. I have been to europe, England and Ireland and Scandanavia but never the mediterranean. We loved the photography and seeing the mansions and more common homes. Also I think that Elgin (Omer) is the most handsome man in the world. His eyes are very expressive and able to convey many feelings both subtle and explosive. He is a very good actor as is everyone on the series including Tuba (Elife). The numerous plots are wild! Also I learned from a young woman living in Massachusetts the name of the small beautiful town that is featured at the end of the series. The town of Golyazi. It is so special!!. I will watch Atiye next. Valerie

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