The best Turkish actor alive Haluk Bilginer
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The Best Turkish Actor with a Splendid Acting Career: Haluk Bilginer (I)

We don’t know how to and where to begin to describe this incredible Turkish talent. Even though the master Turkish actor Haluk Bilginer gained his international fame with the Emmy Award in the best actor category, he almost has a 50-year-long acting career. Can we call him the best Turkish actor? Yes, we absolutely can as he deserves it all the way through!

Furthermore, the veteran Turkish actor Haluk Bilginer is not only the best with his acting talent, but he is one of the most presentable Turkish figures abroad, as well. Check him out with his great speech and his smooth English at the Emmy Awards:

In short, Turkish people proud of him both for his talent and his personality. His speech on amnesia, but not the one individual, but the amnesia of the society we live in almost made us cry!

After a long entrance, it is time to ask now. So, after all, who is Haluk Bilginer? It is not an easy question to answer, but let’s try.

Shall we begin?

Who is the Best Turkish Actor Haluk Bilginer?

The master Turkish actor Haluk Bilginer, with his full name Nihat Haluk Bilginer, was born 5 June 1954. He is a Turkish actor who won the Emmy Best Actor Award for his role in the Şahsiyet (Persona) series, a mini internet series. In addition to his acting career in Turkey, he has also worked in the United Kingdom. The actor still remains best known for his role as Mehmet Osman in the television soap opera EastEnders during the 1980s. Haluk Bilginer has also starred in Hollywood movies as a minor actor. He played a villainous guerrilla leader in the 1987 comedy film Ishtar and a Turkish Mafioso in the 2001 dark comedy film Buffalo Soldiers.

The best Turkish actor Haluk Bilginer won the Emmy Award in the best actor category with his role as Agah in Şahsiyet (Persona), an 8-episode-long mini internet series
The best Turkish actor Haluk Bilginer won the Emmy Award in the best actor category with his role as Agah in Şahsiyet (Persona), an 8-episode-long mini internet series

Early Life of the Magnificent Actor

Bilginer was born in İzmir, Turkey. He graduated from Ankara State Conservatory in 1977. Afterward, he set off to England where he graduated from the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art (LAMDA). He landed his first role in the long-running UK soap opera EastEnders.

One of the Most Hard-working and Productive Turkish Actors

It is a hard-to-believe fact, yet it is as obvious as the sunshine. The best Turkish actor Haluk Bilginer squeezed almost 50 feature films and more than 30 TV/Internet series into his career. And into his 67-year-old lifetime, for sure…


Here are some links containing the projects he involved in:


Do you see that? We already have a remarkable resource of the entire corpus of Haluk Bilginer. But let’s more dig into…

What About the Private Life of the Best Turkish Actor?

It may seem, the actor may have never had a chance for marriage during his career-focused life. Nevertheless, he had indeed! Even he had two marriages. In 1987, Haluk Bilginer traveled to Istanbul to film the TV series Gecenin Öteki Yüzü (The Other Side of the Night).

Haluk Bilginer and his second wife Aşkın Nur Yengi
Haluk Bilginer and his second wife Aşkın Nur Yengi

There, he met actress/singer Zuhal Olcay and the two married in 1992. However, this marriage did not last forever, and they divorced in 2004. Later on, the actor married Aşkın Nur Yengi, an eminent Turkish singer, in 2006 and has a daughter from this marriage. However, this marriage also did not work out and they divorced in 2012.

Haluk Bilginer and his first wife Zuhal Olcay
Haluk Bilginer and his first wife Zuhal Olcay

The actor has a daughter from this marriage named Nazlı to whom Haluk Bilginer dedicated his Emmy Award in the best actor category.

The Success is Not a Coincidence!

In the year of 2014, the film by the eminent Turkish director Nuri Bilge Ceylan, “Kış Uykusu” (Winter Sleep), won the Palme d’Or, the internationally prestigious film award, in the best feature film category. In this film, the best Turkish actor Haluk Bilginer was the leading character. He acted as a writer who has an existential crisis working on his new novel in Turkey’s magical city of Cappadocia.

Haluk Bilginer proves that he is the best Turkish actor with every single role, just like in Kış Uykusu (Winter Sleep)
Haluk Bilginer proves that he is the best Turkish actor with every single role, just like in Kış Uykusu (Winter Sleep)

It was in 1982 when the first time a Turkish director and his movie won this award. He was deceased Turkish director Yılmaz Güney and he received the award with the politic movie “Yol” (The Road, also known as The Way).

The unforgettable Kurdish director Yılmaz Güney, who was the first director from Turkey having won the Palm d'OR in 1982
The unforgettable Kurdish director Yılmaz Güney, who was the first director from Turkey having won the Palm d’Or in 1982

Begining of Haluk Bilginer’s Impressive Career: East Enders

Bilginer made his first appearance in EastEnders as Mehmet Osman on-screen in June 1985, four months after the show originally aired. His arrival coincides with a cot-death storyline of Sue and Ali’s baby, Hassan. Mehmet appears as a recurring character from 1985–1987, setting up a cab firm named Ozcabs from inside Ali’s café. However, he becomes a regular in 1988, when both he and his wife Guizin (Ishia Bennison) are made partners in Ali’s café, which is renamed, Café Osman.

Haluk Bilginer in East Enders, a phenomenon English sit-com during the end of 1980s
Haluk Bilginer in East Enders, a phenomenon English sit-com during the end of 1980s

The “Terrible Turk” Turned into an Unforgettable TV Character

Described as “the Terrible Turk”, Haluk Bilginer was one of the most popular male cast members on EastEnders during the 1980s. He reportedly received sackfuls of fan mail, “despite playing a villain and a womanizing snake”. Hilary Kingsley has said that what made the character so popular was Bilginer’s Omar Sharif-style good looks and charm. Following the departure of Holland and Smith, scriptwriters wrote eventually out Mehmet of the serial in May 1989. It was in a storyline that signified the disbandment of the Osman family.

Turkish director Nuri Bilge Ceylan had received his award from Quentin Tarantino and Uma Thurman's hands
Turkish director Nuri Bilge Ceylan had received his award from Quentin Tarantino and Uma Thurman’s hands

While East Enders Ends, Musical Theatre Begins for the Best Turkish Actor

On-screen, Mehmet returns to his native Cyprus after a fight with Guizin. His wife was suspicious about Mehmet’s fabricated affair with Sue. The Osman family were among many characters to leave the serial that year. Writer Colin Brake has commented, “the pace of comings and goings was fast and furious during 1989, as the program tried to find a new direction.” Bilginer went into musical theatre after leaving East Enders. He starred in Ken Hill’s popular musical adaptation of the Guy de Maupassant novel The Wicked World of Bel-Ami at the Theatre Royal Stratford East. There, he worked with Fiona Hendley, Toni Palmer, Peter Straker, and Colin Atkins.

Haluk Bilginer and his daughter Nazlı Bilginer to whom the actor dedicated his Emmy Award
Haluk Bilginer and his daughter Nazlı Bilginer to whom the actor dedicated his Emmy Award

Before we finish, as we told at the beginning, it is not an easy task to clarify the complete life and the career of the actor. Therefore, consider this as the first one of the serial articles. So, follow us for the second article of the serial…

See you in the next content on Haluk Bilginer…

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