The list of the most unforgettable Turkish actors and actresses (Image Credit: gazeta mapo)
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The 21 Most Unforgettable and Legendary Turkish TV Characters

Gather folks! Since you all are here, we can make some nostalgia! We desire to share a list with you which contains some of the most unforgettable Turkish TV characters. We say “Some of“, because the Turkish TV industry is huge! Therefore, sorry in advance if we forget to put your favorite name on the list!

So, check out the list and tell us which one is your favorite. In case your favorite one doesn’t take place on the list, then inform us to know what your favorite one is. What’s more, you can also check this article for more detailed information on Turkish television drama.

Enjoy!

21- Nazlı (Yabancı Damat – The Foreign Groom)

Nehir Erdoğan (who acted as Nazlı) was in her 20s then
Nehir Erdoğan (who acted as Nazlı) was in her 20s then

Well, let’s begin with one of the most unforgettable Turkish TV series. It was also one of the first most world-famous Turkish series, too. We don’t know which one we need to name here, —the spectacular cast, the story, the scenario, … Yabancı Damat (The Foreign Groom) consisted of some of the best Turkish actresses and actors, both young and veteran. Engin Akyürek, for instance, made his best and first debut on TV! Nehir Erdoğan (who acted as Nazlı) was in her 20s then and she made her best debut with the series, too.

Foreign Damat, which the International Herald Tribune newspaper said “No politician has brought Turkey and Greece closer than Foreign Groom”, started its broadcasting life on television in 2004. The story of the series stretching from Gaziantep to Athens was revolving around the love between the Turkish girl Nazlı and the Greek young man Niko (played by Özgür Çevik). Both of their families were conservative and strongly against love between the two hostile nations. However, love overcomes every obstacle and wins one way or another!

Release Date: 2004 (lasted for 106 episodes until 2007)

Genres: Comedy, Drama, Romance

20- Poyraz (Poyraz Karayel)

Turkish actor İlker Kaleli became gigantic as Poyraz
Turkish actor İlker Kaleli became gigantic as Poyraz

The role, in which the prominent Turkish actor İlker Kaleli became gigantic, deserves all the way through to be on our list. In this role, İlker Kaleli starred as a defamed ex-cop, who is struggling to get back his son. However, he finds himself on undercover duty within the biggest mafia in Istanbul.

By the way, don’t leave unsaid, thanks to this Turkish drama, İlker Kaleli, and Burçin Terzioğlu, two leading roles of the series, met and then, they got married.

Release Date: 2015 (lasted for 82 episodes until 2017)

Genres: Action, Drama

19- Şehrazat (Binbir Gece – 1001 Nights)

Şehrazat (played by the eminent Turkish actress Bergüzar Korel) was one of the best Turkish TV characters
Şehrazat (played by the eminent Turkish actress Bergüzar Korel) was one of the best Turkish TV characters

The series takes its name from the famous Persian stories 1001 Nights Tales. Şehrazat (played by the eminent Turkish actress Bergüzar Korel) is the leading character of the series. She is a young and attractive widow who is financially unable to treat her terminally ill young son. Therefore, she is forced to address her charming boss, asking for help. The proposal by her boss, which is the necessary amount of money in return for a one-night coupling, changes her life forever. The boss Onur Aksal, by the way, is played by Halit Ergenç, the two got married following this TV series. And they are happily together since then.

Release Date: 2006 (lasted for 90 episodes until 2009)

Genres: Drama, Family

18- Bahar Karadağ (Asmalı Konak – The Mansion with Vines)

Beautiful Turkish actress had starred as Bahar in Asmalı Konak series (1998)
Beautiful Turkish actress had starred as Bahar in Asmalı Konak series (1998)

Bahar (played by the accomplished Turkish actress Nurgül Yeşilçay) is the daughter of a bureaucrat family from Istanbul. While completing his art education in New York, she meets Seymen (played by Özcan Deniz). They are fall in love and they plan to go to Cappadocia to marry. Seymen is the heir of a well-established family of Cappadocia who is also developed and adhered to its traditions. He lives with his family in a magnificent house called Asmali Konak. Bahar comes as a bride to Asmali Konak. She admires the region and Seymen’s respectability there.

The legendary Turkish TV drama Asmalı Konak was the first one in this genre, which is based on a wealthy Anatolian family that is adhered to their traditions and unwilling to a new member who comes from a different western culture. So, the series changed the Turkish TV series industry forever!

Release Date: 2002 (lasted for 54 episodes until 2003)

Genres: Drama, Family

17- Sarp Yılmaz (İçerde – Insider)

The accomplished Turkish actor Çağatay Ulusoy performed as Sarp in İçerde (Insider)
The accomplished Turkish actor Çağatay Ulusoy performed as Sarp in İçerde (Insider)

Çağatay Ulusoy (acted as Sarp Yılmaz) is a very popular actor not only in our country but also in many foreign countries. Made in 2016, the series “İçerde” (Insider) had a wide audience in Pakistan, India, Romania, and Ethiopia.

In this series, the actor starred along with Aras Bulut İynemli, whom you will probably recall from his splendid performance in “Çukur (The Pit). By the by, the series is the remake of the world-famous feature film The Departed.

Release Date: 2016 (lasted for 39 episodes until 2017)

Genres: Action, Drama, Crime

16- Feriha (Adını Feriha Koydum – I Named Her Feriha)

Hazal Kaya (acted as Feriha) brought up one of the most legendary Turkish TV characters
Hazal Kaya (acted as Feriha) brought up one of the most legendary Turkish TV characters

Let’s continue with Hazal Kaya… Her appearance on TV as Feriha was her best debut on TV. The series starring Hazal Kaya and Çağatay Ulusoy has become a phenomenon in Arab Countries and the Balkans. It went down in history as the first Turkish TV series to be broadcast on television in India.

Because of this international fame, the series continued with a sequel named Emir’in Yolu (Emir’s Way), yet it could not be as successful as its prequel.

Release Date: 2011 (lasted for 80 episodes until 2012)

Genres: Romance, Drama

15- Ertuğrul (Diriliş: Ertuğrul – Resurrection: Ertugrul)

It is quite obvious that Engin Altan Düzyatan made a pick in his career with Ertuğrul performance
It is quite obvious that Engin Altan Düzyatan made a pick in his career with Ertuğrul performance

The series is definitely one of the most internationally famous Turkish TV series ever. The series, which foreigners describe as “Turkish Game of Thrones“, is breaking records, especially in Pakistan. Costumes, social life, and the warrior character of the Turks are followed with interest in the historical drama. The series revolves around the life of Ertuğrul (played by Engin Altan Düzyatan), the father of Osman I, the founder of the Ottoman Empire. What’s more, we also watch the roots of the foundation of the Ottoman Empire.

The legend is nothing, but definitely a master one among other Turkish TV characters.

Release Date: 2014 (lasted for 150 episodes until 2019)

Genres: Action, Adventure, Drama, History, War

14- Demir Doğan (Asi – Rebel)

Murat Yıldırım (as Demir) in Asi Turkish TV drama along with Tuba Büyüküstün
Murat Yıldırım (as Demir) in Asi Turkish TV drama along with Tuba Büyüküstün

With Murat Yıldırım and Tuba Büyüküstün blowing stormy winds for a while, Asi is a TV series that gained popularity by being broadcast in 67 different countries and was nominated for the 51st Monte Carlo Television Festival. The talented Turkish actor Murat Yıldırım (acted as Demir) made his one of the best debuts on TV. Besides, the series is still Turkey’s one of the most internationally acclaimed TV projects ever.

Release Date: 2007 (lasted for 71 episodes until 2009)

Genres: Drama, Romance

13- Elif (Kara Para Aşk – Black Money Love)

Tuba Büyüküstün (as Elif) and her acting partner Engin Akyürek joined among the best Turkish TV characters and the best couples, too
Tuba Büyüküstün (as Elif) and her acting partner Engin Akyürek joined among the best Turkish TV characters and the best couples, too

The series, starring Tuba Büyüküstün and Engin Akyürek, broke rating records, especially in Arab countries and Pakistan. The series became so successful and the leading characters made such a harmonious couple that their names are still cited together. With actings, scenarios, and the story, Kara Para Aşk (Black Money Love) was a flawless action on Turkish television.

Release Date: 2014 (lasted for 54 episodes until 2015)

Genres: Drama, Romance

12- Kerim Ilgaz (Fatmagül’ün Suçu Ne? – What is Fatmagül’s Fault?)

Engin Akyürek starred as Kerim in Fatmagül'ün Suçu Ne? (What's Fatmagul's Fault?)
Engin Akyürek starred as Kerim in Fatmagül’ün Suçu Ne? (What’s Fatmagul’s Fault?)

Engin Akyürek (acted as Kerim) came into our lives with his outstanding performance in “Fatmagül’ün Suçu Ne?” (What’s Fatmagül’s Fault?).

Fatmagül’ün Suçu Ne? (What is Fatmagül’s Fault?) is a story based on a novel. The series revolves around Fatmagül (played by Beren Saat) and Kerim (played by Engin Akyürek). They are the lead characters of the drama. Fatmagül, who is a small-town girl, is raped one night by 3 guys under the influence of alcohol and drugs. Kerim, on the other hand, who is friends with Erdoğan, Selim, and Vural, is also present during this incident.

Even though Kerim has not taken any part in this meanness, he is feeling remorse as he was present during the incident. Later on, the lawyer uncle, and parents of rich guys pressurize Fatmagül to marry Kerim by bribing her sister-in-law. In the meantime, Fatmagül has finance Mustafa who is after revenge on Fatmagül and Kerim. This makes the couple leave their hometown and come to Istanbul. The story revolves further when Kerim falls in love with Fatmagül and supports her in the fight against her rapists.

Release Date: 2010 (lasted for 80 episodes until 2012)

Genres: Drama, Romance

11- Reyyan (Hercai)

Turkish actress Ebru Şahin, who starred as the leading character Reyyan, made a great job on the character
Turkish actress Ebru Şahin, who starred as the leading character Reyyan, made a great job on the character

It is a touching TV drama that made us saying in every episode we watched, “That girl cried so much; she suffered so much.” Hercai is the love story between Reyyan and Miran’s eastern traditions and customs. The series has been watched a lot, especially in Middle Eastern countries. So, the gorgeous Turkish actress Ebru Şahin, who starred as the leading character Reyyan, made a great job on the character.

Gossip alert: No matter how successful the series was and no matter how Ebru Şahin and Akın Akınözü made a great couple in the series, following the finale of Hercai, which happened very recently, the leading characters ended their friendship and unfollow each other on Instagram due to fighting and misunderstanding.

Release Date: 2019 (lasted for 69 episodes until 2021)

Genres: Drama, Romance

10- Süleyman Çakır (Kurtlar Vadisi – Valley of the Wolves)

Süleyman Çakır of Kurtlar Vadisi — Valley of the Wolves is another unforgettable Turkish TV characters.
Süleyman Çakır of Kurtlar Vadisi — Valley of the Wolves is another unforgettable Turkish TV character.

Kurtlar Vadisi — Valley of the Wolves was a phenomenon Turkish TV series. The story of the series revolved around the mafia and state relationships. Moreover, the series was deeply investigating the deep-state fact in Turkey. So, the main character Süleyman Çakır (Oktay Kaynarca) had quite a number of fans. Indeed, when the character died, the whole of Turkey mourned for in the name of Çakır. So, he took his place as one of the most memorable Turkish TV characters.

Release Date: 2003 (lasted for 97 episodes until 2005)

Genre: Action, Crime, Drama, Thriller

9- Polat Alemdar (Kurtlar Vadisi – Valley of the Wolves)

Polat Alemdar (Necati Şaşmaz) was the right hand, best friend and the comrade of Süleyman Çakır.
Polat Alemdar (Necati Şaşmaz) was the right hand, best friend and the comrade of Süleyman Çakır.

Here is another phenomenon character of the phenomenon series. Polat Alemdar (Necati Şaşmaz) was the right hand, best friend and the comrade of Süleyman Çakır. After Çakır was murdered by his enemies, the story kept revolving around the story of Polat Alemdar.

Release Date: 2003 (lasted for 97 episodes until 2005)

Genre: Action, Crime, Drama, Thriller

8- Ramiz Karaeski – Ramiz Dayı (Ezel)

It can't be prepared a "most unforgettable Turkish TV characters" list without Tuncel Kurtiz acted as Ramiz Karaeski.
It can’t be prepared a “most unforgettable Turkish TV characters” list without Tuncel Kurtiz acted as Ramiz Karaeski.

Ezel was another classic of Turkish televisions. And one of the main characters of the series was Ramiz Dayı (Tuncel Kurtiz). The master Turkish actor Tuncel Kurtiz made a great job in this series. His messages and lessons for life will never be forgotten even tough year passes by! Therefore, he totally deserves to be named as one of the most deathless Turkish TV characters.

Release Date: 2009 (lasted for 71 episodes until 2011)

Genre: Crime, Drama, Thriller

7- Defne (Kiralık Aşk – Love for Rent, aka Rental Love)

Her star shone with the role of Defne in Kiralık Aşk (Rental Love, or aka Love for Rent), in which she acted between June 2015 and 2017
Her star shone with the role of Defne in Kiralık Aşk (Rental Love, or aka Love for Rent), in which she acted between June 2015 and 2017

When Defne’s brother gets into debt and is held captive, Defne (played by Elçin Sangu) is forced to accept an offer in exchange for the money. She has to make Ömer (played by Barış Arduç), a wealthy shoe designer who owns a company, fall in love with her and marry her.

The Turkish romantic comedy, Kiralık Aşk, is one of the best of its kind. In addition, the great harmony between the lead characters was outstanding!

Release Date: 2015 (lasted for 69 episodes until 2017)

Genre: Comedy, Romance, Romantic-Comedy (Rom-com)

6- Hürrem Sultan (Muhteşem Yüzyıl – Magnificent Century)

The legendary Turkish TV character Hürrem Sultan: Meryem Uzerli.
The legendary Turkish TV character Hürrem Sultan: Meryem Uzerli.

Hürrem Sultan, the unforgettable and historical lover of Sultan Suleiman. Furthermore, their love on the screens became the most famous one in the world. So, the series Magnificent Century was the most famous and popular Turkish TV show all around the world. Meryem Uzerli played the Hürrem Sultan and so, she became the most popular Turkish actress not only in Turkey but in the world, as well.

Meryem Uzerli and the Hurrem Sultan that she performed will never be forgotten and it will always remain as one of the most unforgettable Turkish TV characters.

Release Date: 2011 (lasted for 146 episodes until 2014)

Genre: Biography, History, Drama, Romance, War

5- Deli Yürek – Yusuf Miroğlu (Deli Yürek – Wild Heart)

Kenan İmirzalıoğlu (acted as Yusuf Miroğlu aka Deli Yürek - Wild Heart) is a memorable Turkish TV character.
Kenan İmirzalıoğlu (acted as Yusuf Miroğlu aka Deli Yürek – Wild Heart) is a memorable Turkish TV character.

This is the first and most attractive debut of the famous and handsome Turkish actor and former model Kenan İmirzalıoğlu. So, in this series, Kenan İmirzalıoğlu was the leading character and he acted as a fearless, good-hearted man. He was the best for his friends, but a scary dream for his enemies. On the other hand, Deli Yürek means “Wild Heart”, so it explains the basis of the series…

Release Date: 1998 (lasted for 113 episodes until 2002)

Genre: Adventure, Crime, Drama, Thriller

4- Behlül Haznedar (Aşkı Memnu – The Forbidden Love)

Behlül Haznedar (Kıvanç Tatlıtuğ) is a phenomenon and unforgettable Turkish TV character.
Behlül Haznedar (Kıvanç Tatlıtuğ) is a phenomenon and unforgettable Turkish TV character.

Here we come to the legend TV series of Turkish televisions. Aşkı Memnu – Forbidden Love has been one of the most popular TV series ever in Turkey. The series was also the beginning of the book-adopted TV series trend. And so, Behlül Haznedar (Kıvanç Tatlıtuğ) has undoubtedly become the phenomenon TV character thanks to this series. The handsome Turkish actor gained international fame through this Turkish TV series. The “forbidden love” between Behlül and the wife of his uncle locked tens of millions of people to the screens for years.

Release Date: 2008 (lasted for 79 episodes until 2010)

Genre: Drama, Romance

3- Bihter Yöreoğlu (Aşkı Memnu – The Forbidden Love)

Bihter Yöreoğlu (Beren Saat) left her mark to the Turkish television history.
Bihter Yöreoğlu (Beren Saat) left her mark to the Turkish television history.

Some hated her and some supported her to the end! One way or another, Bihter Yöreoğlu (Beren Saat) left her mark on Turkish television history. Moreover, Beren Saat became very popular after this Turkish TV drama. Furthermore, she became one of the most anticipated Turkish actresses both in Turkey and the world. The character she acted was brave, out-of-order, and provocative, so was she!

By the way, today is the 11th anniversary of the Bihter character’s death. We are not kidding! Although we left behind 11 years since the series did the finale, people still commemorate her with deep respect and longing… She is definitely one of the most legendary Turkish TV characters ever!

Release Date: 2008 (lasted for 79 episodes until 2010)

Genre: Drama, Romance

2- Can Divit (Erkenci Kuş – Daydreamer)

Can Yaman (as Can Divit) in Erkenci Kuş (Daydreamer)
Can Yaman (as Can Divit) in Erkenci Kuş (Daydreamer)

The romantic comedy, Erkenci Kuş (Daydreamer) brought international recognition to the leading characters Can Yaman and Demet Özdemir. The harmony between the two was glorious and they received many national and international awards, especially in the southern European countries such as Italy and Spain.

Sanem (played by Demet Özdemir), a young girl with aspirations of becoming a writer, is forced by her parents to choose between an arranged marriage and finding a proper job. Rushing into a new job at an advertising company, she soon falls for her boss, Can (played by Can Yaman). The TV series was so well-done that every after rom-com did just follow the same idea.

Release Date: 2018 (lasted for 51 episodes until 2019)

Genre: Comedy, Romance

1- Nihan (Kara Sevda – Endless Love)

The outstanding Turkish actress Neslihan Atagül acted as Nihan in Kara Sevda (Endless Love)
The outstanding Turkish actress Neslihan Atagül acted as Nihan in Kara Sevda (Endless Love)

Here is the top of our best Turkish TV characters list. A masterpiece starring Burak Özçivit, a world-famous Turkish actor, and the stunning Turkish actress Neslihan Atagül (who acted as Nihan).

The young girl Nihan has to give up her love life for the sake of her family. Five years later, she finally meets Kemal Soydere (Burak Özçivit) and is obviously still in love with each other. However, they can’t be together because she is now married to a psychopath who has no limits or what so ever. It’s a love triangle with lots of drama and mystery.

Release Date: 2015 (lasted for 74 episodes until 2017)

Genre: Drama, Romance

So, here we are. We compiled some of the best, most legendary, and most unforgettable Turkish TV characters ever. Plus, we have also considered picking those who also have international recognition. Well, what do you think? Which one above is the most unforgettable one? What is your favorite? Is it not on our list? Then, tell us and write it down in the comments!

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